1906 Robert Ruliph Morgan (R.R.M.) Carpenter

Robert Ruliph Morgan (R.R.M.) Carpenter (1877-1949) was a member of Pierre S. du Pont's "Wartime Cabinet" during World War I and helped DuPont diversify beyond gunpowder and explosives. "Ruly" Carpenter, as he was known, worked in his family's hardware store in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., after graduating from high school. In 1906 he joined DuPont as a district purchasing agent after a brief stint with a DuPont subsidiary, the Manufacturer's Contracting Company.Show more

That same year he married Margaretta du Pont, a sister of company president Pierre Samuel. In 1908 he joined DuPont's Development Department, then headed by Pierre's brother, Irénée, and three years later was named director of that department. Carpenter directed a study of hundreds of businesses outside the explosives industry in order to shape the company's diversification efforts. He recommended that DuPont acquire and develop new product lines such as Pyralin plastics and Fabrikoid artificial leather, then served as President of the DuPont Fabrikoid Company from 1913-1920. In 1914 he was appointed to the Executive Committee and elected to the Board of Directors, where he helped direct the company's operations during World War I.


Carpenter was part of a great expansion of middle management at DuPont during the first two decades of the 20th century, helping Pierre Samuel and T. Coleman du Pont to transform the company into a modern corporation. Executives like Carpenter and John J. Raskob lacked hands-on experience in powder manufacturing but shared an astute understanding of finance and new methods of business organization. Carpenter was the first head of the company's Personnel Division, created in 1918, served on the Board of Directors' Finance Committee in 1919, and rejoined the Executive Committee in 1920. He remained a vice president until his retirement in 1946 and served on the Board until his death in 1949. His younger brother by 11 years, Walter S. Carpenter, was President of DuPont from 1940 to 1948.