DuPont Cutbacks Send A Chill Through Delaware's Science Community

In 1802 Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, a 31-year-old French aristocrat just two years in America, started a powder mill on the banks of Brandywine Creek outside Wilmington, Del. Since then the company he founded has become virtually synonymous with the state. Du Pont, who had studied explosives with Antoine Lavoisier, a founder of scientific chemistry, began producing gunpowder superior to any previously available in the new country. His company quickly became the nation’s leading gunpowder manufacturer. In the late 19th century it expanded beyond explosives; in the 20th century it became one of the world’s major chemical companies, still synonymous with products based on leading-edge industrial research.

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