Company Chronology: 1839-1859

Sketch of Hagley yard by Pierre Gentieu1839
Lower Yard Opens

The Lower Yard, down river from the original powder yards, commenced operation in May 1839. The new yard significantly increased DuPont's production capacity.

Image: Crayon sketch of the Lower Powder Yard by Pierre Gentieu, 1878.

DuPont eagle gunpowder label1849
California Agency

With the increased demand for powder in the wake of the Gold Rush, DuPont established an agency for powder sales in California.

This was DuPont's first major agency on the West Coast.

Image: DuPont Eagle Rifle Powder label, circa 1840s.

Henry du Pont portrait

Alfred Victor du Pont Retires

Alfred Victor du Pont retired as head of the Company. He was succeeded by Henry du Pont.

Image: Henry du Pont portrait.

Painting of a battle during the Crimean War1853
Crimean War

The DuPont Company had contracts with foreign governments for powder during the Crimean War.

Image: Painting of the charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava.

Alexis du Pont photograph1857
Death of Alexis Irénée du Pont

Alexis I. du Pont was fatally injured in an explosion in the Hagley Yard on August 22, 1857. He was the first du Pont to die as a result of an explosion in the powder yards.

Image: Alexis Irénée du Pont (1816-1857).





Powder workers pose at Wapwallopen Mills

Purchase of Pennsylvania Mills

The DuPont Company purchased powder mills on Big Wapwallopen Creek, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The Wapwallopen Mills, situated close to the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania, supplied explosives for mining operations in the area.

Image: Powder workers at the Wapwallopen Mills, circa 1880.