Oral History

About this collection

This collection includes a compilation of oral histories that have been digitized and are available online. This is not a comprehensive collection of all oral history content at Hagley. For more information, please contact us at research@hagley.org.

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Pennsylvania Railroad women workers oral histories
This collection consists of two interviews conducted in 1998 in West Chester, Pennsylvania with five women who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They describe how they acquired their positions and their experiences working for the company. Topics discussed include wages, uniforms, sexism in the workplace, and the working environment during World War II.
    Image: Female Pennsylvania Railroad employee with steam derrick, 1943. Click to view.
Oral histories on work and daily life in the Brandywine Valley
A collection of approximately 200 interviews conducted between 1953 and 1984 with people who lived and worked in New Castle County, Delaware. The recollections of the subjects cover a period from about 1900 to 1960. While the majority of the interviews are with those who have a connection with the DuPont Company or du Pont family either as employees or inhabitants of the area surrounding the company's operation on the Brandywine River, the collection also includes interviews with those who worked in other industries in Delaware during this era such as Hodgson Woolen Mill, Lobdell Car Wheel Company, Hoopes Brother & Darlington, and Joseph Bancroft & Sons. In addition to documenting work and labor during this period, the interviewers delve deeply into the social and cultural lives of their subjects. Issues related to domesticity, gender, education, childhood, ethnicity, medicine, etc. are among the topics covered in the interviews. Also of note are interviews with a journalist (Fred Reybold) and an early broadcaster (Willard Wilson) who worked in Delaware.
    For more information about the collection, click here to view the finding aid.
    Image: Vance Mitchell during 1968 interview. Click to view.
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
The Textile Fibers Department of the DuPont Company, established in 1936 as the Rayon Department, specialized in researching and developing synthetic fibers for fabrics such as Rayon, Nylon, Teflon, Corian, and Kevlar. Between 2007 and 2015, former DuPont Company employee Joe Plasky interviewed individuals who worked in all sectors of the business, from research and engineering to marketing, during the period from approximately 1950 to 2000. The development of new materials, products, and processes; construction of new plants; changes in marketing and personnel systems; and the introduction of computer systems are among the topics covered in the interviews.
History of Kevlar oral history interviews
The oral histories presented here document the research and development processes that transformed Kevlar from a novel polymer in the laboratory to a life-changing product in the marketplace. Through many surprising twists and turns, the people profiled here managed to make Kevlar serve the complicated and occasionally contradictory interests of the DuPont company, scientific inquiry, the marketplace, and the general public. Their stories are a rich study in the business and technology of innovation. Interviews were conducted by John Kenly Smith, PhD, in 2014 and 2015. Special thanks to the 1916 Foundation, the friends and family of Mary Laird Silvia, and individual donors for support of this project.
Beer and craft brewing oral history interviews
This collection contains a series of interviews conducted in 2015 and 2016 on the business of craft brewing in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. The collection includes interviews with brewers and brewery owners from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Additionally, interviews were conducted that cover packaging (canning), distribution, retail sales, and the politics around regulating the alcohol business.
    The project was developed by Gregory Hargreaves, Hagley's former Oral Historian. Mr Hargreaves also conducted the interviews for the project.
    Image: A page from a souvenir album for the F.A. Poth Brewing Company in Philadelphia, 1890. Learn more in our digital exhibit Beer & Brewing History at Hagley Museum & Library
Interview with Colonel J. Victor Dallin, 1969 July 17 [audio]
Original Ch. 1 mono. Very low audio level. Several instances of noise causing cllipping. Side 1 ends at 01:34:51. Levels adjusted for side 2., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Dallin Aerial Survey Company photographs (Accession 1970.200), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Interview with Thomas Kellogg, 2002-02-15 [audio]
Discussion includes designs for the Avanti, Starcraft, Wedgewood and various vehicles., Thomas Kellogg was an industrial designer who worked with Raymond Loewy on the Avanti sports car for the Studebaker-Packard Corporation., Split tracks with spill over. Side one ends at 00:42:26:00. Clipping occurs during subject coughing and in setup in beginning., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Thomas W. Kellogg oral history interview (Accession 2015.275.001), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Interview with Thomas Kellogg, 2002-02-15 [transcript]
Discussion includes designs for the Avanti, Starcraft, Wedgewood and various vehicles., Thomas Kellogg was an industrial designer who worked with Raymond Loewy on the Avanti sports car for the Studebaker-Packard Corporation., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Thomas W. Kellogg oral history interview (Accession 2015.275.001), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807