Alfred Victor Philadelphe du Pont (April 11, 1798 – October 4, 1856) was an American chemist and industrialist, who was the eldest son and successor of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
Early life and family
Du Pont was born in Paris
, son of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont
and Sophie Dalmas du Pont. He came to America
in 1800 as an infant and grew up around the gunpowder mills founded by his father on the Brandywine Creek
. Later he attended Mount Airy College, in Germantown
and then studied chemistry at Dickinson College
. While there he was President of Belles Lettres Literary Society
and became a friend of one of his professors, Thomas Cooper
. He later became Cooper's assistant at the University of Pennsylvania
. Alfred du Pont married Margaretta Elizabeth Lamott in 1824 and they had seven children.
E.I. du Pont Company
In 1818, Du Pont returned home to help his father rebuild the gunpowder company after a disastrous explosion that killed 33 people and injured his mother. He worked closely with the men in the mills and was particularly interested in researching new gunpowder chemical developments. The laboratory was his home. However, after spending nearly 20 years as a "powderman," and after a reorganization of the partnership by James Antoine Bidermann, he became head of the company in 1837. It was a difficult role for him, and after leading the company through a recovery from a disastrous mill explosion in 1847, he retired in poor health in 1850.
Death and legacy
Alfred du Pont died October 4
at Eleutherian Mills, near Greenville
, and is buried in the Du Pont Cemetery near Greenville
His son, Alfred V. du Pont, would become a founding father of Phi Kappa Sigma, in 1850.
- du Pont, Pierre S. (1942). Genealogy of the Du Pont Family 1739-1942. Wilmington: Hambleton Printing & Publishing.
- Dutton, William S. (1942). Du Pont, One Hundred and Fifty Years. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.