The History of Wallace Carothers

Blood and nylon: Wallace Carothers’ discovery earned billions for DuPont, but it exacted a price.


Published:


Photographs Courtesy of DuPont

If you’ve ever pulled on a pair of nylon stockings or slept in a nylon tent, then Wallace Hume Carothers died for thee.

Working for DuPont, Carothers, a pioneer in organic chemistry, produced two of the 20th century’s most widely used synthetic polymers—neoprene and nylon. Unfortunately, Carothers—an academic more interested in knowledge than product—was prone to depression. Under the pressures of a for-profit environment, he felt like a failure—and so he checked himself into a Philadelphia hotel, where he swallowed a cyanide pill with the juice of a lemon.

The failure’s work subsequently earned billions for DuPont. “He suffered,” wrote Carothers’ boss, Elmer K. Bolton, “from a nervous condition, which, in his later years, was reflected in poor health and which became progressively worse in spite of the best medical advice and care, and the untiring efforts of his friends and associates.” Bolton was Carothers’ new boss. In 1930, he had replaced Charles Stine, who had recruited Carothers with an opportunity to practice pure science. Bolton, however, “believed that research should be aimed at clearly defined applications,” according to a Chemical Heritage Society profile.

Born in Iowa in 1896, Carothers was the son of an educator. A sister, Isobel, was a radio actress who played Lu in “Clara, Lu and Em,” radio’s first network daytime soap opera. Carothers was the family’s first scientist. After high school, Carothers studied accounting at Capital City Commercial College, where his father was vice president, then entered Tarkio College in Missouri to study chemistry. “Upon entering college, his interest in chemistry and physical sciences was immediate and lasting, and he rapidly outdistanced his classmates,” wrote colleague Roger Adams in a 1939 memoir. “Invariably, he was the brightest student in the class, regardless of the subject.”

At Tarkio, despite being a chemistry major, Carothers also worked as an assistant in the commercial and English departments. During World War I, after the head of the chemistry department was hired away by another institution, Tarkio appointed Carothers to take over. “During his senior year,” observed Adams, “there were four senior chemistry major students in his class, and every one of them later completed work for the doctorate.” After graduating in 1920, Carothers earned a master’s from the University of Illinois in just a year, then took a teaching post at the University of South Dakota. However, Carothers soon decided that he preferred research, so he returned to Illinois to earn a doctorate and, in 1924, became an instructor at Harvard, where he began experimenting with the chemical structures of polymers.

Wallace Carothers stretches a piece of neoprene in his lab at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington.

A polymer is a large molecule composed of many repeated sub-units. Polymers occur in nature. Plants, for instance, are composed of a polymer called cellulose. Other polymers had been synthesized in the laboratory; a hard resin dubbed Bakelite had been a big commercial success. When Carothers came to the field, the arrangement of the sub-units within polymers was not well understood. A prominent German scientist had proposed that polymers were held together in the same way as smaller molecules—by covalent bonding, in which atoms share pairs of electrons. Carothers generally agreed. But rather than working with natural polymers, he focused on creating synthetic polymers in the lab by exposing small molecules to known reactants to form long, macromolecular chains.

That got DuPont’s attention. Stine had convinced DuPont’s executive committee to fund a continuing research program. But Carothers, who had been at Harvard only a short time, turned down Stine’s offer: “I suffer from neurotic spells of diminished capacity, which might constitute a much more serious handicap there than here,” he wrote. Stine raised his salary offer. Eventually, Carothers gave in. It worked for a while. Freed from teaching, he bicycled to work at DuPont’s Experimental Station in Wilmington and set his own agenda. “Nobody asks any questions as to how I am spending my time or what my plans are,” he wrote a friend. “Apparently, it is all up to me.”

Carothers focused, of course, on polymers and from his department’s experiments emerged polychloroprene, a synthetic rubber later introduced as “neoprene.” Synthetic rubber proved invaluable during World War II, when the Axis powers controlled most sources of natural rubber. Shortly afterward, Carothers and a lab assistant made a breakthrough in their efforts to develop polymers with molecular weights greater than 6,000. Using a new technique, the assistant dipped a glass rod into a batch of polymers with weights above 12,000 and found that the fibers began to align and become stronger as they were pulled out.

“Carothers was away on business the morning his team went running down the halls between the laboratories, pulling their bright, chemical strings behind them,” according to Financial Times writer Sam Knight. But it still needed work. Bolton was now in charge. With the Depression cutting into DuPont’s revenues, he pushed Carothers—whose interests were elsewhere—to focus on developing fibers. Meanwhile, Carothers’ parents had come to live with him. He wrote a friend of suffering “at least a dozen violent storms of depression every day.”

Bolton got what he wanted. Carothers modified his equipment and identified new combinations of chemicals. By early 1935, he had a new fiber that, by weight, was six times stronger than steel. By then, however, Carothers had had the first in a series of breakdowns. He spent time away from the office and married in early 1936, then was confined for two months at a mental institution. Badly shaken in early 1937 by the sudden death of his actress sister, Carothers learned in April that his wife was pregnant. Three days later, he drove to Philadelphia. The new fiber, nylon, was introduced the following year.
 

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Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Visit the former dairy and farm while exploring the ever-changing estate landscape on this narrated tram tour. Hear accounts of estate history as you see how we have repurposed historic work areas....

Cost: $5 per person upgrade. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Learn more about the 1968 Wilmington collaboration efforts involved with The Delaware Contemporary's Guardians of the Image Makers exhibition and the programming at the Delaware Art...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

BODY OF ART: Open Figure Drawing Series Selected Wednesdays | $10 drop-in fee | Cash Bar Studio artist Jenna Lucente will monitor these informal and unclothed figure drawing sessions...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Try practicing yoga in a beautiful garden setting, strengthening your body and spirit. Our yoga class is open to all levels. We will practice slow, easy motions to get into the rhythm of nature....

Cost: $10

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

In partnership with Network Delaware, the Museum will present a Town Hall discussion on the Restorative Schools Issue Campaign moderated by exhibiting artist and For Freedoms co-founder Hank Willis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kingswood Community Center
2300 Bowers St.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Get lost in a book during Mt. Cuba’s Story Time in the Gardens. Children are invited to visit the gardens on Thursday mornings for a story from a nature-themed children’s book. Intended for...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Explore the politics of hunting in the Arctic while viewing the new exhibition “’The World Is Following Its People’: Indigenous Art and Arctic Ecology.” A University of Delaware doctoral...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

The Farm Stand is located in front of the Museum Store at the Cottage on Thursdays, July–September, 1:30–5:30 pm. Visit us to select fresh, local produce. Parking is available behind the...

Cost: free

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Listen to Delaware artists Dennis Beach and Robert Straight discuss their art and the process of abstraction. In addition the gallery talk, view the exhibition From Color and Form to Expression...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall Gallery
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

V. Shayne Frederick is a pianist, vocalist, arranger and musical director with over a decade of stunning performance. He will be joined by Ella Ghant, a vocalist in the jazz/traditional pop style....

Cost: $25-$28

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »


Telephone: 610-356-2787

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
View map »


Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
Website »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free for Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton , DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Art Museum

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

On September 21, we are joining the Biden Cancer Initiative and hundreds of other communities in hosting a Biden Cancer Community Summit in Delaware. You're invited to join us to learn about: how...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Siegel JCC
101 Garden of Eden Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: Siegel JCC
Telephone: 302-478-5660
Contact Name: Anna Saul
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Brew at the Zoo Friday, Sept. 21, 5:30–9 p.m. Ages 21+ Join the Delaware Zoological Society, which supports the Brandywine Zoo, in its annual fundraiser, Brew at the Zoo, and...

Cost: $40-$25

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19810
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
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Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
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By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
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Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

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Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
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Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
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The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
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Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
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Faith United Methodist Church - "Methodist Women" host 12th Annual Walk for The Homeless September 22.  Faith United Methodist Church announced its 12 years of the walk for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Faith United Methodist Church
19940 Church St
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: "Methodist Women"
Telephone: 302-227-3118
Contact Name: Christina Miller-Hall
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Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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Explore the geologic history of the Delaware Appalachian Piedmont. Delaware Geologic Survey scientist William "Sandy" Schenck, P.G., will lead you on a 4-hour round-trip tour up the line...

Cost: $22

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
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In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
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Enjoy a tour of the Museum’s Collection through a new lens. Free. Saturdays, September 15 & 22, October 6 & 13 | 2:00 p.m. Local Pride: Art and Artists from Greater Wilmington...

Cost: Free for Members, Free after admission for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Please join Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc, www.dehofi.org with raising funds for our Senior and Veteran homeowners in the State of Delaware.  All of the funds go to providing essential...

Cost: $10 for car show/$15 for block party

Where:
Midnight Oil Brewery
674 Pencader Dr
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc
Telephone: 302-584-0453
Contact Name: Dawn Momot
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LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
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Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
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Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
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Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Participate in Peace Week Delaware with a walk in the Delaware Art Museum Labyrinth in the Anthony N. Fusco Reservoir. Peace Week raises awareness and hope for peace in our communities, nation, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The Dickinson Theatre Pipe Organ Society welcomes ALEX JONES of Birmhingham, England to the Dickinson Theatre.  Mr. Hones will be performing music from Broadway, Motion Pictures, as...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Dickinson Theatre at John Dickinson High Schoo
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: John Dickinson Organ Society
Telephone: 302.995.5603
Contact Name: Bob Dilworth
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By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

More information

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