The Hagley Museum and Library is a nonprofit educational institution in Wilmington, Delaware. Covering more than 235 acres (0.95 km²) along the banks of the Brandywine Creek, the museum and grounds include the first du Pont family home and garden in the United States, the powder yards, and a 19th-century machine shop. On the hillside below the mansion lies a Renaissance-revival garden, with terraces and statuary, created in the 1920s by Louise Evalina du Pont Crowninshield (1877–1958). The facility sits at the midpoint of the DuPont Historic Corridor.
Hagley Museum and Library
|Nearest city||Wilmington, Delaware|
|Area||235 acres (95 ha)|
|NRHP reference #||84000819|
|Added to NRHP||November 13, 1966|
Opened in 1957, the Hagley Museum features exhibits and demonstrations that show the connections between early industrial technology and early American history, focusing on the histories of the du Pont family, DuPont company, explosives and gunpowder, and innovation (through a large collection of American Patent models). The Museum also explores personal stories of the 19th-century DuPont Company employees, how they lived, and how their lifestyles changed along with new machinery and new production methods.
Hagley's library houses a major research collection of manuscripts, archives, photographs, pamphlets, and books documenting the history of American business and technology. A member of the Independent Research Libraries Association, the library serves scholars from this country and abroad. Holdings include 37,000 linear feet in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, 290,000 printed volumes in the Imprints Department, 2 million visual items in the Pictorial Department, and more than 300,000 digital images and pages in the Digital Archives Department. The library and archival collections owned by Hagley are open to the public for research; a catalog and partial digital archive are available online.
The library includes Hagley's intellectual heart: the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, which coordinates Hagley's interactions with the world of scholarship in the fields of American economic, business, and technological history. The center offers a scholar-in-residence program and competitive fellowships, and organizes seminars and historical conferences.
In 1802, French immigrant Eleuthère Irénée du Pont founded black powder mills on the banks of Brandywine Creek. He chose the location for the river's tumble over the Fall Line which provided power, timber and willow trees (used to produce quality charcoal required for superior black powder), the proximity to the Delaware River (on which other ingredients of the powder – sulfur and saltpeter – could be shipped); and the quarries of gneiss which would provide building materials for the mills. The E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company's black powder factory became the largest in the world.
In 1921, the mills along the Brandywine closed and parcels of the property were sold. Plans for a museum were established 31 years later, on the occasion of the DuPont Company's 150th anniversary in 1952.
Hagley historians only know that the name was already in use well before E.I. du Pont expanded downstream from Eleutherian Mills in 1813 by purchasing the land that became the Hagley Yards. An 1813 document refers to the land as Hagley and it had been called Hagley as early as 1797, when its owner, Philadelphia Quaker merchant Rumford Dawes, applied for insurance on buildings that were said to be located in a place called Hagley on the Brandywine. Dawes had acquired the property in 1783. Since the name Hagley did not appear on the documents transferring ownership at that time, it seems likely that Dawes gave this name to the Brandywine location.
It seems likely that Delaware's Hagley was named for an English estate that was well known in the second half of the eighteenth century. It is likely that Dawes chose the name based on an English narrative poem entitled The Seasons by James Thomson. Hagley Hall was the seat of Thomson's patron the Baron Lyttelton, and the poem's description of a sylvan dale is strikingly reminiscent of the Brandywine Valley. The Seasons was popular in Philadelphia at the time that Rumford Dawes acquired and named Hagley. The English Hagley estate is located in the West Midlands countryside about ten miles southwest of Birmingham. Perhaps coincidently, Delaware's Hagley is about 8 miles south of Chadds Ford Township, officially known as Birmingham Township before 1996.
At about the same time, Hagley Plantation on the Waccamaw River in South Carolina got its name when the owners, who were admirers of English culture, chose the name Hagley to remind them of the well-known parkland of that name near London.
Alexander Dawson Henderson (February 28, 1865 – January 5, 1925) was a successful business executive and philanthropist. He was vice president, first treasurer and founding investor of the California Perfume Company (CPC), which later became Avon Products.Antec International
Antec International was formerly one of the world's largest biosecurity companies, specialising in production of disinfectants and cleansing agents. It played a minor but important role in controlling the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis.
The company was acquired by DuPont in late 2003 and operated as a subsidiary of DuPont until July 2015 when it became part of spin-off of Chemours.Bancroft Mills
Bancroft Mills was an abandoned mill complex along Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware, United States of America. It has been the site of some of the earliest and most famous mills near Wilmington and was the largest and longest running complex along the Brandywine.Donald F. Carpenter
Donald F. Carpenter (1899-1985) was an American businessman who served as the first civilian Chairman of the Military Liaison Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, Deputy to United States Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal on atomic energy matters, and Chairman of the U.S. Munitions Board.In 1922, Carpenter graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree and entered industry, rising through key managerial positions with the Dupont Viscoloid Company from 1927 through 1933, and the Remington Arms Company from 1933 through 1947. As vice president and assistant general manager of the Remington Arms Company during World War II, he guided the company's expansion to meet the Allied Forces' ammunition needs.In 1947, he was appointed a member of the Industrial Advisory Group to the Atomic Energy Commission, where he advocated wider industrial participation in the developing atomic energy enterprise. In 1948 he was appointed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman as the first civilian chairman of the Military Liaison Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, where he strengthened the committee status as a civilian-military enterprise inclusive of Army, Navy and Air Force nuclear activities. Later in 1948 Carpenter was appointed by Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal as his deputy "in atomic energy matters".In 1948, Carpenter was appointed by President Truman to be the Chairman of the national Munitions Board, established by the National Security Act of 1947 to coordinate industrial matters affecting the National Military Establishment, including procurement, production, and distribution functions. His work as chairman was recognized with letters of appreciation from James Forrestal, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.Carpenter returned to DuPont as General Manager of the Film Department in 1949, and worked there until his retirement in 1963.The Donald F. Carpenter Collection at the Hagley Museum and Library documents his life and career through photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, pamphlets and letters.DuPont Historic Corridor
The DuPont Historic Corridor is a section of Delaware Route 141 that traces the history of both the Du Pont family and the DuPont company. The southwest point houses DuPont’s Chestnut Run Plaza and the northeastern end is home to the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Between are a number of sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
The many historic locations in the DuPont Historic Corridor include equal portion of the history of the American chemical industry, the role of the DuPont family - their estates and gardens - and the philanthropy of a distinguished American family.Du Pont family
The du Pont family (English: or ) is a prominent American family descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739–1817). The du Pont family has been one of the richest families in America since the mid-19th century, when it founded its fortune in the gunpowder business. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it expanded its wealth through the chemical industry and the automotive industry, with substantial interests in the DuPont company, General Motors, and various other corporations.
Several former du Pont family estates are open to the public as museums, gardens or parks, such as Winterthur, Nemours, Eleutherian Mills, Longwood Gardens, Gibraltar, Mt. Cuba, and Goodstay. The family's interest in horticulture was planted in America by their immigrant progenitors from France and was also nourished and cultivated in later generations by avid gardeners who married into the family. As early as 1924, the du Ponts were recognized by Charles Sprague Sargent, the famed plantsman and director of Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, as "a family which has made the neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware one of the chief centers of horticulture in the United States."The family's first American estate, Eleutherian Mills, located at Hagley Museum and Library, was preserved and restored by Louise E. du Pont Crowninshield. She also helped to establish the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1949. In recent years, the family has continued to be known for its association with political and business ventures, as well as philanthropic causes.
Two family members were the subjects of well-publicized criminal cases. Heir John Eleuthère du Pont was convicted of murdering wrestling coach Dave Schultz in 1996, and heir Robert H. Richards IV was convicted of raping his 3-year-old daughter in 2009. The family is depicted in the 2014 biographical film Foxcatcher, with Steve Carell playing John Eleuthère du Pont and Vanessa Redgrave playing Jean du Pont, the wife of William du Pont Jr.
As of 2016, the family fortune was estimated to be worth $14.3 billion, spread across more than 3,500 living relatives.Eleutherian Mills
From 1802 to 1921, Eleutherian Mills was a gunpowder mill site used for the manufacture of explosives by the Du Pont family business, which was founded by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. The name also refers to the house on the hill above the mills, which was the first Du Pont family home in America. In 1952, the site became an outdoor museum, and the Hagley Museum and Library was founded.Engineering Research Associates
Engineering Research Associates, commonly known as ERA, was a pioneering computer firm from the 1950s. ERA became famous for their numerical computers, but as the market expanded they became better known for their drum memory systems. They were eventually purchased by Remington Rand and merged into their UNIVAC department. Many of the company founders later left to form Control Data Corporation.Fred Bechly
Fred Lorin Bechly (1924–2004) was an American electrical engineer and inventor in the field of color television broadcasting.Invista
Invista, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, United States, is a major integrated fiber, resin and intermediates company. It has about 10,000 employees in over 20 countries worldwide. The predecessor DuPont Textiles and Interiors was formed from DuPont's textile fibers division in 2003. The company was given the trademarked name INVISTA and was then sold to privately owned Koch Industries in April 2004. Koch Industries combined the newly acquired organization with their KoSa subsidiary to complete the INVISTA company.John J. Raskob
John Jakob Raskob, KCSG (March 19, 1879 – October 15, 1950) was a financial executive and businessman for DuPont and General Motors, and the builder of the Empire State Building. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1928 to 1932 and a key supporter of Alfred E. Smith's candidacy for President of the United States.
After Franklin D. Roosevelt became President, Raskob was a prominent opponent of the New Deal through his support of a number of anti-Roosevelt organizations including the American Liberty League. Raskob was also a leader in the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment.Pamela Cunningham Copeland
Pamela Cunningham Copeland (May 5, 1906 – January 25, 2001) was an American horticulturist and historical preservationist, known for her philanthropy. Her home and gardens became Mt. Cuba Center, a public garden and research center for Appalachian Piedmont flora that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.Patent model
A patent model was a handmade miniature model no larger than 12" by 12" by 12" (approximately 30 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm) that showed how an invention works. It was one of the most interesting early features of the United States patent system.Since some early inventors had little technological or legal training, it was difficult for them to submit formal patent applications which require the novel features of an invention to be described in a written application and a number of diagrams.Paul Bechly
Paul Lorin Bechly (born 1958) is an American chemical engineer noted for leadership in development of an environmentally responsible perfluorocarbon gas policy for DuPont and allied industries.Sperry Corporation
Sperry Corporation (1910−1986) was a major American equipment and electronics company whose existence spanned more than seven decades of the 20th century. Through a series of mergers it exists today as a part of Unisys, while some other of its former divisions became part of Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, and Northrop Grumman.
The company is best known as the developer of the artificial horizon and a wide variety of other gyroscope-based aviation instruments like autopilots, bombsights, analog ballistics computers and gyro gunsights. In the post-WWII era they branched out into electronics, both aviation related, and later, computers.Thomas Lamb (industrial designer)
Thomas Babbit Lamb (1896–1988) was an American industrial designer. He is best known for his innovative handle designs closely modeled on the mechanics of the human hand.Trade literature
Trade literature is a general term including advertising, customer technical communications, and catalogues.USS Indianapolis (ID-3865)
The first USS Indianapolis was a cargo ship that served in the United States Navy from 1918 to 1919.
SS Indianapolis was launched on 4 July 1918 by Pusey and Jones, Gloucester City, Camden County, New Jersey, for the United States Shipping Board. She was delivered to the U.S. Department of the Navy on 12 December 1918 and was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Indianapolis the same day at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Lieutenant Commander J. M. Masury, USNRF, in command.
Attached to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Indianapolis departed Philadelphia on 28 December 1918 to carry cargo to England and the Netherlands. She returned to the United States at Norfolk, Virginia, on 23 February 1919. She departed Norfolk on 31 March 1919, carried cargo to France, and returned to Norfolk on 22 June 1919.
Indianapolis decommissioned on 9 July 1919. She was returned to the United States Shipping Board at Norfolk the same day, once again becoming SS Indianapolis.
1918 Photo the "Indianapolis" can be seen under construction from Pusey and Jones Corporation photograph collection Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807.William du Pont Jr.
William Francis du Pont Jr. (February 11, 1896 – December 31, 1965) was an American businessman and banker and a prominent figure in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. He developed and designed more than 20 racing venues, including Fair Hill at his 5,000-acre estate in Maryland. A member of the Delaware Du Pont family, he was the son of William du Pont and Annie Rogers Zinn, and brother to Marion duPont Scott, a noted horsewoman and breeder.
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