Stories from our photo collections, Part II

The cataloging team is at it again! As of this fall, the online catalog has over 20,000 records—and that means more wonderful and wacky Delaware stories than ever before.

 Most recently, we’ve been working on the Irénée du Pont Photograph Collection. It contains close to 1,000 images taken by Irénée du Pont, Sr. from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. The collection was donated by Irénée du Pont, Jr. in 2003 and includes snapshots of various du Pont family members, family friends, travel photos, houses and buildings, recreation scenes, and a collection of photographs taken at Xanadu, the du Pont estate in Cuba.  The candid photos of family and friends are particularly interesting, giving us a rare glimpse into the leisure time of a prominent family.  And as always, the more you dig, the more you find…

 Boys will be boys. Friends of Irénée du Pont, Sr. pose with pipes and hats in dorm hallway at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Ca. 1892.

19th century paparazzi. Photo by Irénée du Pont, Sr. of actress Eleanor Mayo, her husband James Elverson, and their bodyguard on the beach in Cape May, NJ. Mayo did not like her picture taken in public, but Irénée managed to snap this photograph before the couple’s bodyguard could catch him. Ca. 1895.

Road trip mishaps. This photo was taken during a road trip to Boston in 1908 to attend a fraternity reunion at M.I.T. Along the way, the car, driven by R.R.M. Carpenter broke down, got stuck in the mud, and, by the looks of this photo, a member of the group was almost left behind!

Into the woods. Irénée, Bill de Kraft, and two other men on camping and sailing trip on the Elk River in Maryland. Apparently, suits and ties were required. May 1918.

At home with the family. Irene S. du Pont holds her infant son, Irénée. 1920.

Kinloch Gun Club. In 1912, a group of Wilmington businessmen established a hunting and social club along the Santee River in South Carolina. Here, W. Winder Laird, R.R.M. Carpenter, Irénée du Pont, Sr., Martin Reyfus, and a guide, meet at the train station. November 1923.

On vacation in Cuba. Photo of Philip and Lydia Laird at Club Nautico in Cuba. The Lairds often accompanied the du Ponts on vacation. 1926.

Worldly travelers. Irénée and Irene S. du Pont pose in front of building during trip to Italy in 1927.

 Remember, you can read about these photos and much, MUCH more at Ask Caesar on the DHS Library page: Or, stop by the library for a visit!


2 thoughts on “Stories from our photo collections, Part II

  1. Very interesting !
    I was enchanted by Xanadu Mansion in Cuba and his history.
    NOTE: the photo in Italy from 1927 is in Venezia= Venice exactly in front of San Mark’s Cathedral ( Basilica di San Marco).
    You can also enjoy my little work about Xanadu in Cuba.

  2. We stayed there for three days over New Years 2014. It was the most amazing time and such a gift to enjoy so much history with the Cuban people. Definitely going back again~

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