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Delaware Mineral Resources


Brandywine region Delaware
Brandywine region Delaware

Commercial fishing crews and chartered boats working out of Lewes and other lower Delaware ports catch saltwater fish in Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Clams and crabs are dredged. In 2007 the fish catch was valued at $7.6 million.

Many farmers retain small woodlots on their property. The wood is used to make boxes and crates and other wood products. Some fine woods, for use as veneers in good-quality furniture, are also cut. Holly, which is fashioned into wreaths and decorations for the Christmas season, is also grown.

Delaware ranks last among all the states in the value of mineral production, and there are few mineral resources of even potential commercial value. Magnesium compounds, extracted from seawater, and sand and gravel are the principal mineral products. Iron ore is present in small quantities on the Piedmont and in some of the swamps of the coastal region. However, the deposits are too small and too widely scattered to be of commercial value.

In 2002 some 13 percent of the workforce of Delaware was employed in manufacturing industries. The principal industry is the chemical industry, which in 1996 generated two-fifths of all income produced by industry. Chemical products manufactured in the state include paints and varnishes, dyes, cloth and cloth finishes, and synthetic fibers. Other industrial activities include food processing and the manufacture of paper products, instruments, rubber and plastic goods, fabricated metal products, machinery, and transportation equipment.

Petroleum refineries


There are also several petroleum refineries and printing and publishing firms in the state. Most industrial plants are located in northern New Castle County, in the Wilmington area. The chemical industry in Delaware dates from 1802, when Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, a French immigrant, built the state’s first gunpowder mill on Brandywine Creek near Wilmington.

From those early beginnings grew E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, the largest chemical company in the United States. The home office and the research laboratories of the company now dominate the city and suburbs of Wilmington. There are a number of other chemical companies with headquarters in Delaware, the largest being Hercules and Atlas, which split off from the Du Pont Company after an antitrust suit in 1912.

The manufacture of textiles


The manufacture of textiles and leather products was formerly a major economic activity, but it is now of only minor significance. The textile industry began in the late 18th century, when Jacob Broom built the state’s first cotton mill on Brandywine Creek. Leather making is also one of the state’s oldest industries. Buckskin and chamois leather were manufactured in Wilmington as early as 1732. "Delaware" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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