1804 First Powder Mill

E.I. du Pont paid Wilmington, Del., businessman Jacob Broom $6,740 for a site on the Brandywine River on which to build his first powder mill. The falling water on the lower Brandywine could drive the machinery of a large mill and ensure nearly year-round production. Willow trees on the riverbanks would make excellent charcoal, a key ingredient in black powder. The site also was close to wharves for shipping, yet far enough from the city for safety in case of explosion.