Biographical / Historical
The E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company was founded on July 19, 1802, by Eleuthere Irenee DuPont on Brandywine Creek for the purpose of manufacturing gunpowder. In 1804 the first DuPont powder went on public sale. In 1902 a new corporation was formed by three great grandsons of the founder, to more effectively compete with the changing technical field and the expanding scale and complexity of business.
During the twentieth century the corporation moved into the research and manufacture of thousands of products and processes, and consequently developed and expanded within many markets. Synthetic fibers is one of a family of products of the Dupont Corporation. In 1930, Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, working with Dr. J.W. Hill in DuPont's Fundamental Research Laboratory at Wilmington, produced the first synthetic fiber forming "superpolymer." This was the forerunner of nylon.
In 1938, the development of nylon was announced. It's first use was in brush bristles. Hosiery filaments were developed in 1939, and offered commercially in 1940. In 1941, nylon was applied to the molding industry. From l942 to 1944, nylon production was allocated completely to war uses. The best known outgrowth of the company's resarch progress, nylon is one of the most important developments in Dupont's long history. It was the result of the chemical industry's first large scale fundamental research program. And it proved to be the first of a whole family of synthetics for consumer consumption. The product was bought into commercial production at a new plant in Seaford, Delaware.
No other major chemical development had the spontaneous reception accorded to nylon. It not only changed the hosiery market but was soon developed into a multiplicity of textile applications including: tooth brushes, hair brushes, household brushes, tennis racquet strings, catheters, surgical sutures, fishing leader material, musical strings, wire insulation, self lubricating bearings for machinery, umbrellas, undergarments, shower curtains, parachutes, and rope.