Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1981 January 29 [audio](part 1)

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  • Family and personal background; Household objects
    Partial Transcript: "I lived in...Wilmington, and then Stanton, and then here (in New Castle)" "That's a jack, isn't it?"
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about her family background. She describes her grandfather's and father's work at the Hagley Yards. She describes how her family came to the United States from Ireland. Cheney describes some of her household objects, with a focus on kitchen tools. She describes various knives, ice box tools, wrenches, and more.
    Keywords: Hagley Yard; Ice boxes; Ireland; Jacks; Kitchens; Knives; Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.); New Castle (Del.); Tools; Wilmington (Del.); Wrenches
  • Bake ware; Cheney's mother's baking routine; Doing the laundry; Furniture made in Hagley's machine shops; Irons and pressing clothes; Lamps and lighting; Agate pots and pans
    Partial Transcript: "We had large muffin tins that mother had for years, but I don't know what they are."
    Synopsis: Cheney describes the bake ware used by her mother to make different types of cake and baked goods. She talks about her mother's baking routine. Cheney describes how her mother did the laundry. She says that the benches they rested their wash tubs on were made in the machine shop at Hagley. Cheney talks about her chair, which was also made at the Hagley machine shop. The interviewer describes the chair. They talk about clothes irons, eggbeaters and other tools. Cheney describes having agate pots and pans.
    Keywords: Agate; Bakeware; Bundt Cakes; Cake pans; Chores; Hagley Yards; Irons (Pressing); Lamps; Laundry; Muffin tins; Oil lamps; Pots and pans; Tools
  • Making soap; Illness and the doctor; Rugs, carpets, and floor coverings; Quilts and blankets; The fireplace; Beds
    Partial Transcript: "We made our own soap before we had the good old Fels-Naptha." "At the turn of the century when my sister was born, we had a doctor from Centerville." One of the quilts that I'll never forget was a wedding gift from Francis du Pont... to my mom and dad."
    Synopsis: Cheney describes making soap at home. She talks about using lye to make the soap. She describes how they made soap differently based on its purpose. She said that soap meant for personal uses had less lye than the laundry soap. Cheney talks about doctors and medicine. She says that she has fond memories of her family's doctor. She describes rugs and carpeting. Cheney talks about quilts and blankets and one from in particular that her parents got as a wedding gift from the du Pont family. Cheney talks about the fireplace and heating the home. She talks about how her family used coal and wood to heat their home. She talks about the family's beds.
    Keywords: Beds; Centerville, Del.; Doctors; du Pont family; Fels-Naptha; Fireplaces; Lye; Medicine; Peppermint; Soap; Wood
  • Artwork in the home; Tobacco usage; Shoes and button hooks; Making and buying clothes; Trunk from Ireland; Storing dry goods
    Partial Transcript: "Currier & amp; Ives... that's the first thing I remember hanging on that wall..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about artwork in her family home. She describes how her father bought and used tobacco. She talks about her shoes. She says that her clothes and dresses were homemade. She compares this to her sister, who was four years younger and had everything store bought for her. She talks about her families trunks, and says that they had a room in their home devoted to storing trunks. She says that they had six in total and they mostly stored blankets. She explains how her family stored dry goods.
    Keywords: Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Clothes; Currier and Ives; Dry goods; Shoes; Tobacco; Trunk rooms; Trunks
  • Household objects; Vacations and trips; Food and school lunches; Music and musical instruments; Visiting family on Sundays; Household objects; Taking hot baths
    Partial Transcript: "He was giving a talk on music from the bible..." "We didn't have a plate wall, but that's a thing that I saw at some of the other houses in Free Park."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about traveling and vacations. Her family didn't go on vacations, but often visited nearby family. She describes her school lunches and what it was like traveling back and forth between school and home. She describes a variety of household objects. She says that her sister was a good singer and organist. Cheney says that Sundays were for visiting family, and many relatives from Wilmington came out to where they lived in order to see what they thought of as the country. She talks about taking a bath.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Breck's Lane (Del.: Village); Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Free Park (Del.: Village); Hagley Museum and Library; Kettles; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989