Sources- An annotated bibliography of sources for the Aetna Powder Company


In no particular order these are sources used in the research into the history of the Aetna Powder Company and its pages.
Including the 1920 book/catalog publication of the Aetna Explosives Company.


Newspapers: The Times of Hammond, variously named The Lake County Times is online at Newspapers.com from 1906 and was invaluable. (If you use Newspapers.com for this paper be aware that Newspapers.com is rather mixed up in its cataloging. To browse you use either “Munster, Indiana” or “Hammond, Indiana” and for some issues there is overlap.) Newspapers.com was useful not only for the local paper, but also for news of explosions which were widely reported around the country. The microfilm at the Lake County Library Genealogy Room was very useful for papers prior to 1906 and also the Gary Post-Tribune.

Van Gelder, Arthur Pine, and Hugo Schlatter. 1927. History of the explosives industry in America. New York: Columbia University Press. An invaluable resource for the history of the Aetna companies. [Copy at the Purdue Calumet Library in Hammond.]

Articles of Incorporation, Aetna Powder Co., March 12, 1880 William du Pont papers, Accession 2317.1, Box 56. Hagley Museum and Library Archival Collections. The original certificate of incorporation and articles of association.

Svengalis, Kendall F. 2006. Gary, Indiana: a centennial celebration. North Stonington, Conn: Duneland Press. Chapter Seventeen is an excellent history of Aetna written by the author who grew up in Aetna. This volume has innumerable pictures and post card reproductions.

Goodspeed and Blanchard, Counties of Porter and Lake County (Chicago, 1882), page 542. No better description of the first year of the plant’s operation in Aetna. [Online at HathiTrust.org]

Baird, Victor Allen. Railroading on the Wabash Fourth District (Fort Wayne, Indiana, Erstwhile Publications, 2013). 314 pages. The Fourth District is the line that the Wabash put through from the east to Chicago about 1892. [Copy in the Calumet Archives at IUN.]

Ancestry.com. Ancestry has a tremendous collection of Indiana documents including death certificates from 1899 to 2011 which were very helpful in naming the victims of explosions and where they were interned.

Congressional Record: proceedings and debates of the Congress, Volume XLIII, Part II, Sixtieth Congress, Second Session, January 21, 1909, pp 1252-1265. Read into the Congressional Record the suit of the United States v. E.I. du Pont Nemours and Company and Others. Naming a great number of companies involved in the Powder Trust with brief histories of those companies and their operations. [Online at HathiTrust.org]

The Powder Trust, 1872-1912. William S. Stevens. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 26 (May, 1912). pp 444-481. [Online at Jstor.org] An excellent summary of the case of the government against the Powder Trust.

Aetna Explosives Co. (1919). Aetna Explosives Company, Inc., to Bankers Trust Company, as trustee: Mortgage and deed of trust, dated January 1, 1919. [n.p..126pp] Beginning page 20 is a detailed description of the company’s land holdings in Lake County with legal descriptions, from whom and when the land was purchased. [Online at HathiTrust.org]

The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Volume 111, part 1, pages 987-8, Sept 4, 1920. Final report of the receivers which summarizes the financial condition of the company including a balance sheet and contracts with the French and American governments. [Online at HathiTrust.org]

Prevade, Daniel, Horror and Heroism: The Aetna Chemical Explosion. Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, Fall, 2012. [Online at https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/viewFile/58897/58626] A vivid description of the Oakdale, PA explosion which killed some 200 people in May of 1918.

Aetna Explosives Company. 1920. Aetna explosives and their characteristics, blasting supplies and blasting information. New York: Aetna Explosives Co. [Online at HathiTrust.org]. This very interesting 156 page book (below) describing the company’s products and how to use them.


This flip book is mostly for fun. Click in the margins of the book to turn the page, or the slider after expanding with the UP arrow.
Full catalog record at HathiTrust. Click on "Full view" to see the book at. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100604518


Page created November, 2018. Updated July, 2019.
Comments and questions? Email Steve Spicer at steve@spicerweb.org