Interview with Samuel Hackendorn, 1958 July 24 [audio]

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  • Immigration from Alsace Lorraine; Father's job; Going to school; Early work; Father's job
    Partial Transcript: "I was a baby, the Kaiser in a dress parade slapped one of the men... didn't have his coat buttoned, my father, he said, 'You won't get any of my boys and he left the country.'"
    Synopsis: Hackendorn talks about his family's immigration from Alsace-Lorraine to New York, and then to Wilmington, Delaware. He says that his father got a job with DuPont. He says that he went to school at Saint Joseph's on the Brandywine. He says that he used to drill holes in rocks for quarrying and construction. Explosives went in the holes. He talks about his father's work in a DuPont corning mill. He talks about his own work with explosives and how he got his job in the powder yards.
    Keywords: Alsace-Lorraine; Colmar, France; Explosives; Immigration; Kindbeiter family; New York, Ny.; Rohr family; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Wilmington, Del.
  • DuPont barn burnings; The parish priest; Playing baseball; Company farms; Ice skating on the Brandywine Creek; Childhood friends; Childhood home in Free Park
    Partial Transcript: "I remember that first barn burning... I was an apprentice boy at the time."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn talks about the barn burnings in the powder yards that started around 1889. He says that he kept his father from attempting to serve as a firefighter. He talks about attending school at the Catholic church and the parish priest. He talks about playing baseball when he was young. He also talks about company owned farms in the area near Hagley. He describes ice skating on the Brandywine Creek. Hackendorn names his childhood friends and talks about swimming on the Brandywine. He describes his family's home in Free Park. He names some of his family's neighbors.
    Keywords: Arson; Barn burnings; Baseball; Brandywine Creek; Charles Banks; Farms; Free Park (Del.: Village); Friends; Homes; Ice skating; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Squirrel Run (Del.: Village)
  • Going to Sunday School; Hackendorn's Neighbors; Keeping a cow and other animals; Fishing in the Brandywine; First job
    Partial Transcript: "Guy by the name of Kelly lived there too..."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn talks about watching a gardener, who wore all white, work while he was in Sunday school. He says that he quit school in fifth grade. He talks about the village of Free Park. Hackendorn talks about his family's cow and says his family was one of two that kept a cow. He talks about fishing and swimming in the Brandywine Creek. He says that his first job was working as a picker at a cotton mill. He describes some of the mills in the area and talks about some of his coworkers and bosses over the years. He says that he was fired from his first job for fighting. He talks about his wages at that job and says that he earned $2.20 a week.
    Keywords: Barlow and Thatcher; Brandywine Creek; Brandywine Manufacturers' Sunday School; Breck's Mill; Chickens; Cows; Fishing; Free Park (Del.: Village); Joseph Bancroft and Sons Co.; Milk; Pigs; Sunday School; Wages; Walker's Mill
  • Father's job and wages; Memories of Henry du Pont and Alfred I. du Pont; du Pont family philanthropy and the local churches
    Partial Transcript: "All of the people in Free Park never paid no rent."
    Synopsis: He says that rent was free in Free Park. He talks about his father's wages and working hours. He says that his father worked two jobs for twenty to thirty years and got a pension from DuPont after he quit. The pension was arranged by Alfred I. du Pont. He talks about his memories of Henry du Pont and Alfred I. du Pont. He also talks about H.A. du Pont.
    Keywords: Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, H. A. (Henry Algernon), 1838-1926; Du Pont, Henry, 1812-1889; Free Park (Del.: Village); Rent; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Wages
  • Drilling rocks for blasting; Becoming a ship carpenter
    Partial Transcript: "I went drilling rocks..."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn says that after getting fired from Barlow and Thatcher he got a job drilling rocks for three years. After that, he learned a trade and became a ship carpenter after five years as an apprentice. Hackendorn says that he left the job because his boss was black. He says that he got a job and Pusey and Jones Company building a racing yacht.
    Keywords: Barlow and Thatcher; Blasting; Carpentry; Drills; Montchanin, Del.; Pusey and Jones Company; Racism; Ship-building; Ships
  • Money; Wife's father's work in the powder yards; Working at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; Working at the Amalgamated Leather Company
    Partial Transcript: "I was about 33 or 34 when I quit Harlan's..."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn talks about living next to a saloon and having a family with nine children. He talks about his wife, and her father, who worked in the powder yards and was a tough boss and worked in the keg mill. He says that he was after money and he worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a year. He says that they held his wages back and at one point they owed him 800 dollars. He says that he went back to work at Harlan, the same ship building company he left because his foreman was black. After that he was a millwright at the Amalgamated Leather Company.
    Keywords: Children; Family; Free Park (Del.: Village); Harlan's; Kegs; Money; Philadelphia Navy Yard; Racism; Squirrel Run (Del.:Village); Toy's tavern; Wages
  • Father's work in the powder yards; Explosions; People who worked in the powder yards
    Partial Transcript: "He was born in April, he died in March..."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn talks about his father's work at the powder yards. He worked several different jobs in his career at the powder yard. He talks about explosions at Hagley and watching the glazing mill explode. Hackendorn talks about some of the people he recalls working in the powder yards. He describes them and their jobs.
    Keywords: Explosions; Kegs; Mills
  • Impressions of members of the du Pont family; Sawmill at Hagley; Water wheels; Water turbines; Accidents; Hackendorn's children
    Partial Transcript: "Frank du Pont, he was a bird, Mr. Eugene was a pretty nice man, Lammot du Pont, before he got killed, he was a nice man."
    Synopsis: Hackendorn gives his impression of different members of the du Pont family. He talks about a sawmill at Hagley and says he was a young boy when they stopped using it. He remembers when DuPont installed the first water turbines. He talks about an accident that happened in one of the mills. He describes the dimensions of the water wheels and making parts for them. He talks about his sons and their trades.
    Keywords: Accidents; Du Pont, Eugene, 1840-1902; Du Pont, Francis Gurney, 1850-1904; Du Pont, Henry, 1812-1889; Water turbines; Water wheels