Interview with John E. Krauss, 1958 May 14 [audio](part 2)

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  • Interactions with members of the du Pont family; Memories of Alred I. du Pont; Working for T. Coleman du Pont's senatorial campaign
    Partial Transcript: "Alfred du Pont was a mechanical genius, and worked with the men perhaps more closely than other members of the family. That's the reason when they had the split in 1916, that this group on the Brandywine stuck with Alfred for the most part, because Alfred lived among them. If any man was sick, he would go to his house and find out what the trouble was. He had a personal interest, paternal in all the workers. It was that old paternal family pattern. He made the penny squeal, but no families would suffer from shortages of the necessities of life if he knew about it..." "...I had an interesting experience with T. C. du Pont back in 1921 when he was running for United States Senator. I was given a leave of absence from the Company for three or four months and was a field secretary for the finance committee of the Republican Party in this state. This was my only experience in politics. I was warned before I took it to keep my hands clean because if he was elected there would probably be an investigation by Congress because he was a du Pont. However, he lost, although he was later appointed when a vacancy came up..." "...My father thought the sun rose and set on Alfred."
    Synopsis: Krauss talks about interactions he had with members of the du Pont family and the mechanical aptitude of many members of the family. He says that Francis Gurney du Pont worked in the powder yards and was involved with establishing the DuPont Experimental Station. He talks about his memories of Alfred I. du Pont and his interest in cars. He talks about changes to Alfred I. du Pont's personality that occurred due to his family problems and his own deafness. He talks about working for T. Coleman du Pont's Senate campaign describing T. Coleman du Pont as a wonderful person to work with. He says that Pierre S. du Pont would trim some of his own trees at Longwood Gardens.
    Keywords: Automobiles; Deafness; du Pont family; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, Francis Gurney, 1850-1904; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; DuPont Experimental Station; Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pa.); Swamp Hall (Henry Clay, Del.: Dwelling); Tancopanican Band
  • Father's retirement from the powder mills; Hazards of working with black powder; Sisters' jobs; Buildings on site
    Partial Transcript: "Father retired after the mills on the Brandywine closed down about '21. He was about 68 or 69, but he was very robust, and they wanted him to go to Repauno and work in dynamite. He told them he couldn't work in dynamite. It's too dangerous, though he had worked all of his life in black powder. So he was retired."
    Synopsis: Krauss says that his father retired when the powder yards closed in 1921. He says that his father had nothing to do after the powder yards closed and his mother told him he needed to find his father a job. He helped his father get a job taking care of dictaphones, a job he held for seven years before dying from throat cancer.He talks about the hazards of working in black powder and inhaling powder grains. He says that one of his sisters worked in the powder yards as a secretary. His other sister was John Raskos secretary and eventually became a secretary at Tower Hill School. Krauss talks about how some of the buildings on site were used when he was young. He says that the boys group he belonged to met in the Sunday school.
    Keywords: Black powder; Brandywine Manufacturers' Sunday School; Dictaphones; Hagley Yard; Retirement; Siblings; Tower Hill School; Work
  • Father's narrow escapes from explosions and accidents; Unions
    Partial Transcript: "My father had very narrow escapes several times. One night he was alone there in the electric power plant and fire broke out..." "...There was a fire hydrant system in the yard. Then after while others found out and some of the men started to come in. As soon as 'Yaba' Buchanan heard that my father was there, he came in to help. I was ordered out of the place..." ..."When Dad came home the next morning his mustache and hair had turned white overnight."
    Synopsis: Krauss talks about how his father had several close calls with accidents and explosions and recalls one incident where his father attempted to fight a fire in the glazing mill using a garden hose. Krauss says that he and several other powder men helped fight that fire. He says that he does not recall any union activities in the powder yards. The interviewer (Wilkinson) and Krauss talk about his job at the museum and the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation.
    Keywords: Accidents; Buchanan, "Yaba"; Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation; Explosions; Fire fighting; Fire hydrants; Glazing mills; Hagley Museum and Library; Hagley Yard; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Unions
  • Job after leaving the Underwood Typewriter Company; World War I; Creating an employment and training program
    Partial Transcript: "1914 was a year of depression, so I left Underwood, and later became mercantile secretary for the Chamber of Commerce, which was just beginning to change its activities and become a real organization. I started the activities of the retail merchants. I did that for a couple of years."
    Synopsis: Krauss talks about his work at the Chamber of Commerce and says that between that and his involvement with the Freemasons he became involved with a program dedicated to finding new potential employees and training them for jobs that suited their talents and previous experiences. DuPont learned about this program and became interested in using similar methods where he was hired in the Personnel Department. Soon after, the department was disbanded and he was encouraged to stay in the Service Department. He says that he was allowed to begin his work looking for potential employees.
    Keywords: Carpenter, R. R. M. (Robert Ruliph Morgan), 1877-1949; Chamber of Commerce; DuPont; Freemasons; Hiring; Personnel Department; Services Department; Staffing; Training; Work; World War (1914-1918)