Du Pont, Lammot 1831 - 1884


(1831-1884), chemist

Lammot Du Pont was born on the 13th April 1831 in New Castle County, Delaware, US. Lammot studied chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1849. He entered into the family business and used his chemistry knowledge to patent B blasting powder in 1857. His invention used an inexpensive Peruvian and Chilean sodium nitrate, which he had discovered in 1858 could be used to manufacture black powder more cheaply than potassium nitrate.

In the Civil War, du Pont enlisted in 1862 and was commissioned captain of Company B, 5th Delaware Volunteer Infantry that served at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. In 1880, du Pont convinced his family that a new explosive, dynamite, would eventually make gunpowder obsolete. His vision eventually made the company a major force in the blasting powder industry. Later, he founded the Repauno Chemical Company and helped his family's company enter the high explosives business.

He died in a nitroglycerin explosion on March 29, 1884, in Gibbstown, New Jersey. The Lammot du Pont Laboratory at the University of Delaware is named in his honour. The 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2)-building houses laboratories of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the College of Marine Studies.