1939 Seaford, Delaware

In 1939, with nylon nearing full-scale production, DuPont sought a location for a new plant. The company chose a 609-acre site near Seaford in southern Delaware because of its proximity to raw material supplies and major markets. The rural community welcomed DuPont's $8.5 million investment with an impromptu parade. DuPont employed 900 construction workers and 400 subcontractors.Show more



In building the Seaford Village Housing Project, the company made Seaford a model of its community relations efforts. The initial project was finished in a mere seven months, but even before completion the company began work on a second facility, doubling the site's capacity to 8 million pounds of nylon yarn a year. Seaford went into production on December 12, 1939. The first yarn produced there is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The six-story plant ran 24 hours a day, producing enough yarn in its first year of operation for 64 million pairs of nylon stockings. Seaford lost many of its first male employees to the war effort, but female workers maintained essential national defense production of nylon for parachutes and B-29 bomber tires.

 

After the war, Seaford remained central to the company's textile fibers production program. In 1948 DuPont chemical engineers converted one of Seaford's production units into a pilot plant for "Fiber V," later to be known as Dacron. Bulked continuous filament (BCF) nylon, soon to be a standard in the carpet industry, was developed at Seaford in 1958, part of a larger effort by the Engineering and Textile Fibers Departments to create an "optimum nylon plant."