1872 - The DuPont Company creates The Gunpowder Trust
The DuPont Story A Family A Company
"Boss Henry and the Gunpowder Trust - 1872
After the Civil War the 'stillness at Appomattox' equaled the stillness of the gunpowder industry. Dozens of firms had sprung up to produce munitions for the war. Now there was surplus product and no buyers. In 1872 Henry (son of the founder and who would preside for 39 years!) called the 2 other biggest powder producers together. The Gunpowder Trust was created: prices were fixed, trade territories were divided, price cutting was agreed upon to drive out the non-members of the trust AND competition ended amongst the king pins.
Henry then quietly bought out one of the big 3, while still retaining that company's votes in The Trust. By 1879 DuPont had complete control! Henry then bought out 8 small mills in PA. Another purchase was that of the California Powder Co, manufacturers of dynamite. Prior to the purchase, Henry had sworn DuPont would never get involved with dynamite. To understate, his decisions were neither shared nor debated.
But he was on the horns of a dilemma. California Powder Company's subsidiary - Hercules Powder - had the patent for their brand of dynamite and the expansionist mining and railroad building companies around the US were clamoring for it; it being safer and more efficient than DuPont blasting powder. Profit won over and DuPont became manufacturers of dynamite.
In 1880 Lammot (father of P.S., Irenee and Lammot Jr - later to become Presidents) was given the okay to build a dynamite plant in Rapauno NJ. He changed the name from Hercules to Atlas, for "Hercules performed only 12 labors; Atlas supported the world". Native Delawareans can certainly recall Hercules and Atlas, in 1911 players in the anti-trust suit against DuPont.
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