Interview with Thomas E. Doremus, 1958 January 30 [audio]

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  • 1913 DuPont wagon train to Lake Erie
    Partial Transcript: "I do not know if there was any factual basis... but we at that time thought the government had bought powder from DuPont... it was just one of the things everybody knew..."
    Synopsis: Doremus talks about a 1913 reenactment of a wagon train that went from DuPont to Lake Erie. Doremus and the interviewer talk about whether or not the 1813 event had happened.
    Keywords: Lake Erie; Reenactments; Wagon trains
  • Working under T. Coleman du Pont
    Partial Transcript: "T. Coleman du Pont was president of the company when I came down here in 1905. There weren't many people in the Wilmington office at that time, and even young squirts like me got to know the president."
    Synopsis: Doremus talks about working in DuPont's Wilmington office under T. Coleman du Pont. He says that du Pont once loaned Doremus his boat for a week of duck shooting. He talks about the sport and the types of guns used. Doremus describes bridge parties that T. Coleman du Pont hosted for department heads. He says that T. Coleman du Pont was a registered musician and skilled at card tricks.
    Keywords: Bridge; Du Pont, Bidermann, 1837-1923; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; Duck Shooting; Magician's Guild
  • T. Coleman du Pont's acquisition of the Willard Hotel and political career; Getting an introductory letter from T. Coleman du Pont; T. Coleman du Pont's health troubles
    Partial Transcript: "I think Mr. P. S. perhaps was more responsible for the development for the technical side of the company than Mr. T. Coleman. Mr. T. Colemanwas a very much of a playboy. Have you heard the story of how he acquired the Willard Hotel in Washington?"
    Synopsis: Coleman talks about T. Coleman du Pont's political career and describes him as a "playboy," attributing his political successes to being a good entertainer. Doremus talks about how T. Coleman acquired the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. He purchased the hotel in retaliation for noise complaints that he received while hosting a party there. He talks about T. Coleman's management style and relates a story about the Waldorf Hotel, which du Pont owned at the time. He talks about getting a letter of introduction from T. Coleman du Pont. Doremus talks about du Pont's health troubles and leaving the company.
    Keywords: Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; United States Senate; Waldorf hotel; Willard Hotel
  • Alfred I du Pont's departure from the company; Alfred I du Pont's personality; Story about Eugene E. du Pont being mistaken for a chauffeur
    Partial Transcript: "The bulk of the stockholders voted in favor of Mr. Pierre and against Alfred I....
    Synopsis: Doremus talks about Alfred I. du Pont's departure from the company. He says that he sided with P.S. du Pont because he thought he was better for the company. He says that he knew Alfred I. du Pont and had gone shooting with him. He talks about Alfred I.s personality. They bring up the possibility that Alfred I.s deafness played a role in his personality shifting over the years. Doremus says that he started the DuPont gun club, and Alfred I du Pont sued the club for generating too much noise because it bothered his wife. He won the suit, but bought a different parcel of land for the gun club to use. Doremus tells a story about Eugene E. du Pont being mistaken for a chauffeur.
    Keywords: Deafness; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, Eugene E. (Eugene Eleuthè re), 1882-1966; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; Shooting
  • Investing in Standard Arms of Wilmington ; DuPont's expansion; Working in Seattle
    Partial Transcript: "I know very little about the early history of the Standard Arms of Wilmington, except that W. K. du Pont had left the smokeless operating department and had become interested in this gas-operated gun."
    Synopsis: Doremus talks about his investment in the Standard Arms of Wilmington and says that P.S. du Pont gave him stock in kind for DuPont after the arms company failed. He explains that the company's main product was a gas operated gun. He talks about DuPont's expansion from the explosives industry to the chemical industry. He says that he worked for DuPont in Seattle Washington after the China office closed. He says that the Seattle office handled operations for the West Coast and Alaska. He talks about traveling through Alaska and visiting gold mines there.
    Keywords: Alaska; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Du Pont, William K. (William Kemble), 1875-1907; Fabrikoid; Gold mining; Prospecting; Seattle, Wa.; Standard Arms of Wilmington