Du Pont, Lammot, 1831-1884

Alternative names
Birth 1831-04-13
Death 1884-03-29

Biographical notes:

Lammot du Pont was born at Nemours, Delaware, on April 13, 1831. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in engineering, he began work for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. By 1859 he was supervising construction of blasting powder mills at Wapwallopen Mills, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, the first Du Pont mills outside the state of Delaware. By 1865 he was in charge of all du Pont Company manufacturing units outside the state of Delaware.

Lammot du Pont was one of the most eminent chemists in the history of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. His introduction of sodium nitrate in the manufacture of powder for blasting and mining purposes, a process which he patented in 1857, led to greater production and to the expansion of company operations beyond Delaware. This use of Chilean nitrate, in place of saltpeter, in the production of powder is credited with having revolutionized the industry. Du Pont also made important improvements in machinery and in techniques of manufacture. With the outbreak of the Civil War he took a prominent part in purchasing supplies of saltpeter abroad, acting in close accord with officials at Washington.

In 1872 he was elected president of the Gunpowder Trade Association. As an engineer and expert in explosive technology, he became interested in high explosives and smokeless powder. When Henry du Pont, president of the company, was reluctant to move into these markets, Lammot resigned from the company and in 1880 organized the Repauno Chemical Company which manufactured high explosives at a plant across the river in New Jersey. It was here that Lammot du Pont was killed by an explosion of nitroglycerin while conducting experiments on March 29, 1884.

From the description of Papers, 1850-1884. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86134314


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Ark ID:


  • Chile saltpeter
  • Saltpeter
  • Cotton mills
  • Cotton textile industry
  • Coal mines and mining
  • Sulfur
  • Explosives industry
  • Coal miners
  • Explosives industry--Explosions
  • Water-power
  • Research, Industrial
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Dynamite
  • Textile factories
  • Gunpowder--Patents
  • Gunpowder
  • Chemical industry
  • Woolen and worsted manufacture
  • Powder mills
  • Anthracite coal industry
  • Gunpowder presses
  • Explosions
  • Textile industry
  • Gunpowder, Smokeless
  • Cotton manufacture
  • Gunpowder industry
  • Railroads


not available for this record


  • Delaware (as recorded)
  • Brandywine Creek (Pa. and Del.) (as recorded)
  • Wyoming (as recorded)
  • Delaware (as recorded)
  • Luzerne County (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)