Interview with Emily Peoples Blackwell, 1973 [audio] (part 1)

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  • Growing up in Squirrel Run and preliminary questions about Christmas celebrations
    Partial Transcript: "I was born and raised there [in Squirrel Run] and my children were born and raised there.." "We went up in the meadow and cut the Christmas tree down..."
    Synopsis: Blackwell talks about her family. She says she and her children were born in Squirrel Run. She talks about her parents and other male family members who worked in the powder yards. She mentions her family's Irish origins and her husband's family origins in England. She says that her family built the first homes on Woodlawn Avenue in Wilmington, Delaware. She talks about her children and her siblings as well as picking out the family Christmas tree and decorating it.
    Keywords: Christmas; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.; England; Family; Gifts; Hagley Yard; Ireland; Marriage; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Wilmington, Del.
  • Buying Christmas presents; Ice skating
    Partial Transcript: "We didn't get expensive gifts..."
    Synopsis: Blackwell talks about buying Christmas gifts and Alfred I. du Pont's Christmas celebrations at Breck's Mill. She talks about Alfred I. du Pont's first wife, Bessie Gardner, and her electric car. She talks about Squirrel Run and recalls ice skating on the Brandywine. She says that she went to Alexis I. du Pont school and that Christmas was always a school holiday. She talks about some of the things her mother knit.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Christmas; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Gifts; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Hodgson Bros. woolen mill; Knitting; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Tancopanican Band; Yellow School (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Christmas Day; Church-based Christmas celebrations; Siblings work and ages; Sewing, knitting, and needlework
    Partial Transcript: "Oh yes, we always had the very best of everything, but very plain..."
    Synopsis: Blackwell talks about Christmas and Easter celebrations, including food traditions. She talks about her mother's bread baking. She talks about going to church and church celebrations, and family celebrations. She then compares and contrasts her childhood Christmases to those of her children. She talks about her siblings, their jobs and ages. She talks about sewing, knitting, and needlework.
    Keywords: Bread; Cakes; Christmas; Easter; Eggs; Goose; Green Hill Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, Del.); Knitting; Needlework; Pies; Sausage; Scrapple; Sewing; Turkey
  • Celebrating New Year's; Traveling across the ocean; Neighbors and their occupations and hobbies; Needlework and embroidery; Identifying people in family photographs
    Partial Transcript: " We listened to the banging and the... that's the only thing I know...we had fireworks too..." "They didn't take too many pictures years ago..."
    Synopsis: Blackwell talks about New Year's celebrations. She talks about photographs. She talks about traveling to Ireland, mentioning that the ocean voyage from that visit made her swear off ocean travel. When her husband wanted to visit his mother in England, she made him go on his own. She talks about some of her neighbors in Wilmington. She shows some of her mother's needlework and embroidery. She also shows some family photographs
    Keywords: celebrations; Needlework; New Year's; Wilmington,Del.
  • How Christmas has changed over the years; Layout of Squirrel Run; Riding the trolley
    Partial Transcript: "... at Christmas time, we were very excited..."
    Synopsis: Blackwell talks about celebrating Christmas as a child, including her family's tradition around Santa Claus. She says that Alfred I. du Pont's Christmas celebrations has someone dressed as Santa Claus. She talks about the community of Squirrel Run and the stream from which it got the name. She talks about the trolleys that used to come near the area. She signs a release form for the interview.
    Keywords: Blakeley's store; Christmas; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Gifts; Lenape, Pa.; Peoples Railway Company (Wilmington, Del.); Presents; Santa Claus; Squirrel Run; Squirrel Run (Del.:Village); Street-railroads; Wagoner's Row (Del.: Village)