Today's #WorkerWednesday is a real blast ...

Two men at work in an office, circa. 1895.

Today's #WorkerWednesday is a real blast. This 1895 photographic negative was taken inside the office of the Aetna Powder Company, a dynamite works in Aetna, Indiana.

This item is part of Hagley Library's Edward M. Harrington collection of Aetna Powder Company and DuPont Company material (Accession 1968.007). Edward M. Harrington (1866-1933) was a chemist. An expert on blasting cap design, he invented the Aetna paper cartridge making machine.

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he began working for the Aetna Powder Company in 1888, first in their electric blasting cap plant in Newport, Rhode Island, and then as superintendent of the dynamite works at Aetna, Indiana. From 1904 to the end of 1920, he worked for the DuPont Company at various plants, including Repauno, New Jersey, and Hopewell, Virigina.

This small collection consists of images of dynamite and other explosive plants, including Aetna Powder Company plants in Newport, Rhode Island (electric blasting caps) and Aetna, Indiana, and DuPont Company plants in Repauno, New Jersey; Hopewell, Virginia, and many other locations.

Photographs show buildings, office and plant interiors, many with workers, employee groups, housing, and recreation. Many of these pictures were probably taken by Edward M. Harrington and relate to his career. Some family pictures and a few views of Boston, Mexico, and Europe. Included is one of the albums from the 1903 photographic survey of DuPont Company properties. There is one portrait of Edward M. Harrington dating around 1920.