This week's Hagley Vault image is from a series of photographs taken on January 22, 1921 documenting the aftermath of a wheel mill explosion in Hagley Yard. This industrial accident marked the 288th explosion to occur onsite since the DuPont Company's early founding on the Brandywine Creek in 1802. The company closed the Brandywine powder yards not long after; it's diversification into new product lines and declining demand for black powder facilitated the decision.
This photograph is part of Hagley Library's collection of DuPont Company Brandywine powder yards and neighboring worker communities' photographs (Accession 2017.226), which contains over 1,200 photographs depicting the landscape, buildings, and workers at or near the company's explosives manufacturing plants along Brandywine Creek near Wilmington, Delaware. These images include the powder yard, the DuPont Experimental Station, and the worker communities that surrounded the powder yards.