Pierre A. Gentieu papers

About this collection

    Pierre A. Gentieu (1842-1930) was a long-term employee of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company who created an invaluable photographic record of the company's Brandywine Mills at the turn of the century. He was born in southwestern France in 1842, and emigrated to the United States around 1859.
    Gentieu began work in the Hagley Powder Yard in June, 1877. In 1881, he was appointed yard clerk by Francis Gurney du Pont, who took Gentieu with him when he established the smokeless powder plant at Carney's Point, N.J. in 1890. Gentieu also developed an amateur interest in photography, and between 1889 and 1910 he produced several hundred views of the Hagley Yards and their immediate surroundings. He was serving as the company's chief storekeeper at his retirement in 1925.
    The Pierre Gentieu papers (Accession 0503) collection offers correspondence with du Pont family members and coworkers, an account book of powder packed at the Hagley Yard (1858-1902); a record book with lists of explosions (1882-1909); time work sheets of powdermen during the 1890s; and a list of the principal events in the powder yards from 1882 to 1911. This document describes the work process to manufacture black powder at Hagley and several accidents that took place during this period.
    Image: Pierre A. Gentieu seated at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exhibit at 1899 Sportsmen's Exposition. Click here to view in the collection.

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