Du Pont Company
Du Pont Company, one of the world's largest manufacturers and marketers of chemicals and chemical products. Founded in 1802 by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the company began by producing gunpowder; in 1880 it began to produce high explosives, and later expanded into applications of cellulose in lacquers, adhesives, and plastics. Since the early 20th century, Du Pont has expanded its list of products, of which there are now over 40,000. Du Pont manufactured plutonium during World War II, and since 1950 it has operated a plant in South Carolina for the Atomic Energy Commission. The company pioneered the development of such widely used synthetic fibers as Orlon acrylic and Dacron polyester, as well as Teflon, a utensil coating that prevents sticking.