Nickname(s): The Diamond State, The First State
Motto(s): Liberty and Independence
State song(s): Our Delaware
Largest City: Wilmington
Admitted to US: 12/7/1787
In 1776, Caesar Rodney rode on his horse from Philadelphia to Delaware to cast a vote for American independence.
Here are a few interesting facts about Delaware:
The Methodist Church of America was organized here in 1784.
The Horseshoe crabs live here. It is the only animal with blue blood. They can go without eating for a year and share the planet with the dinosaurs.
There are 1,450 bridges in this state; almost 30% of these were constructed before the year 1950.
Delaware City is in the northern part of the State.
More than 50% of all United States corporations are filed in Delaware.
The residents are lucky to have the second fastest internet connections in the Nation.
E.I. DuPont was a wealthy French businessman and chemist who sailed to the Americas and settled in Delaware. He was hunting when a friend’s rifle backfired, killing the friend. When he discovered that poor gunpowder caused death, he formed a company to make higher-quality gunpowder. It became successful and dominated the market. The company was a major economic force by the time of his death, and his children took the helm. It became the world’s largest chemical company employing 98,000 workers with a revenue stream of $84 billion.
Stephanie Kwolek was born in Pennsylvania but invented Kevlar in Delaware. Majoring in chemistry put her in the middle of a sea of men. At that time, women shied away from the sciences. World War II resulted in a shortage of chemists, and she was offered a job. She expected it to be temporary but became intensely interested in plastics. In 1964 she began researching lightweight fibers to be used in tires. One day she mixed a few new chemicals, producing a turbid, milky-looking fluid. She was going to throw it away but decided to run it through a spinneret just for kicks. When she did, the thin fibers did not break. Pull tests showed that the fibers were many times stronger than steel and were a fraction of the weight. She named this new product Kevlar. Sometimes discoveries are like babies; you never know what marvels may come.
Wallace Carothers went to work for DuPont as a chemist at Seaport, DE. Tired of getting unwanted water in his polymer mixes, he made the polymer in a hot still. While running the batch, he touched the hot mass with a cool glass rod. When he pulled the rod out, it had a fiber attached to it. As the fiber cooled, it became strong. Nylon was born that day. The question of what’s it good for was answered by the lady’s hosiery department of a New York store. Nylon replaced silk stockings, and in 1940 they sold 800,000 pairs. By 1941 it had captured 30% of the hosiery market.