Entries in dupont (2)


Image of the week: April 11, 2012

We've been taking so many photos while working on the film, and we've acquired some great vintage photos of the fair, so we've decided to share them with you here each week. We'll begin with this great vintage slide from Alan Lovitch, showing the exterior of DuPont's World of Chemistry as it appeared at the fair in 1964. Inside, a show we would call multimedia, dazzled as live dancers interacted with projected dancers on a series of moving panels. But that's a story for another day. Note the light fixtures around the building, mimicking molecules:



Today's Trip: Hagley Library and Museum

Hagley LibraryIf you're anywhere within an hour or so of Wilmington, Delaware, I'd suggest checking out the Hagley Museum, at the site of the original DuPont gunpowder works. The three-story museum has a history of the area and the early days of DuPont on the first floor, a rotating exhibit on the second floor (more on this in a bit) and a third floor aimed at kids, exploring newer DuPont products like Kevlar and Stainmaster.

Quite by accident, I discovered on a visit to the museum that the second floor had previously hosted an exhibit of World's Fair-related items. Not only that, but the exhibit was curated/designed by the Hagley Library.

I didn't know it at the time, but the Hagley Library is home to the corporate archives of many American businesses, including DuPont, Bethlehem Steel, local favorite Wawa, and many others. Today was a quick exploratory trip to get a feel for the library, and what items were available for research, as well as inclusion in the final film.

Patent Model Exhibit at Hagley MuseumIn addition to viewing rare brochures and advertisements for the fair, I was able to view a full filmed performance of DuPont's "Wonderful World of Chemistry," which was the main attraction at DuPont's fair pavilion. While I'd seen portions of the first part of the show previously, (it's a multi-screen/live presentation that holds up well after all these years, if a bit heavy-handed in promoting DuPont's products.) The real treat was the second part of the show, focusing on the science of, well, science. It was a fast-paced show with more in common with a magic act than a dry recitation of facts. You could do that same show today, and audiences would still be enthralled.

A special thanks to Jon Williams and Terry Snyder for all of their help in the archives. They may very well get tired of seeing me stop by before the film is finished. I would highly suggest if anyone out there is working on a research project regarding American industry in the last two centuries, that you check out the Hagley Library.