• Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (E.I.), in 1802, set up the company on Brandywine Creek that bears his name.
He had studied advanced explosives production techniques with the famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier.
• The du Ponts' moderate political views proved a liability in revolutionary France. In 1797 a mob ransacked
their printing shop and they were briefly imprisoned. In late 1799 they fled to America.
• It began as a manufacturer of gunpowder, as du Pont had noticed that the industry in North America was
lagging behind Europe and saw a market for it. The company grew quickly, and by the mid nineteenth century
had become the largest supplier of gunpowder to the United States military, supplying as much as half of
the powder used by the Union Army during the American Civil War.
In 1999, CEO Chad Holliday switched the company's focus towards producing DuPont chemicals from living plants rather than processing them from petroleum.
In the twentieth century, DuPont led the polymer revolution by developing many highly successful materials such
Nylon (first produced in 1935 by Wallace Carothers at DuPont)
Teflon (invented accidentally by Roy Plunkett of Kinetic Chemicals)
Kevlar (Developed at DuPont in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek and Roberto Berendt. Kevlar is wellknown
as a component of some bulletproof vests)
Lycra or Spandex (invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers)
Vespel, Neoprene, Corian, Mylar, Nomex, Tyvek
DuPont has also been significantly involved in the refrigerant industry, developing and producing the
Freon (CFCs) series
In the paint and pigment industry, it has created synthetic pigments and paints, such as ChromaFlair