In 1918, E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company built a large gunpowder plant in what became the community of Old Hickory, Tennessee to supply the U.S. and its allies during World War I. Closed after the war, DuPont repurchased the community and its plant site from the Nashville Industrial Corporation, and company-sponsored baseball began almost as soon as the plant reopened in 1923. The sport’s popularity grew until World War II, at which point it found itself competing with youth and old-timers baseball teams, as well as softball, for the attention and time of Old Hickory residents. Resuming after the war, company team play continued beyond DuPont’s sale of the community in 1953.
This exhibit focuses on three themes pertaining to Du Pont Company baseball in Old Hickory: the teams, facilities, and action. It consists of three sections, each focusing on a theme. The sections contain images depicting scenes from the height of baseball's popularity in Old Hickory, the 1930s-1940s. Although baseball represents the subject of all of the images selected for this exhibit, viewers can also learn a great deal about Old Hickory residents, its physical and cultural landscape, leisure habits and material culture during the early and mid-part of the twentieth century, and more.