Interview with Francis J. Friel, 1960 September 20 [audio](part 1)

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  • Family background and father's work; First job in Flint, Michigan; Watching the first Experimental Station burn down; Schooling and education; Fairs
    Partial Transcript: "My grandfather had a farm between New Castle and Delaware City..."
    Synopsis: Friel talks about his family background and childhood home on a farm between New Castle and Delaware City, Delaware. He says that his father worked as a coachman and was familiar with horses. He talks about his first job in Flint, Michigan. Friel says that he was an altar boy at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine. He says that he watched the first Experimental Station burn down. He returns to talking about his schooling and recalls getting beat up a lot because his family wasn't from the area around the Brandywine. He compares and contrasts the A.I. du Pont school with the Catholic school run by St. Joseph's on the Brandywine. He mentions that Wawaset park used to be a fairgrounds.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Delaware City, Del.; du Pont family; DuPont Experimental Station; Flint, Mi.; Lawless' tavern; New Castle, Del.; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Shootsin Park; Wawaset Park
  • Fires at DuPont's pulp keg mill; Fourth of July celebrations on Keyes' Hill; Driving coaches for the du Ponts. Learning how to play golf and caddying for members of the du Pont family
    Partial Transcript: "I remember one time it was a real blaze..."
    Synopsis: Friel describes watching the pulp keg mill burn down. He talks about Fourth of July celebrations on Keyes' Hill organized by St. Joseph on the Brandywine. He talks about driving a coach for Mrs. Lammot du Pont and how much the du Ponts paid him. He talks about when he learned to enjoy golf. He talks about carrying milk for the Copeland family. He says that he also caddied for members of the du Pont family and discusses his relationships with them. He focuses on Lammot du Pont Copeland and his parents.
    Keywords: Copeland, Charles, 1867-1944; Copeland, Lammot du Pont, 1905-1983; Copeland, Louisa d'A. du Pont (Louisa d'Andelot du Pont), 1868-1926; Du Pont, Lammot, 1880-1952; Fourth of July; Golf; Keyes' Hill; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1878-1927; Pulp Keg Mill; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Taking a course in chemistry at the Y.M.C.A.; Working at the DuPont Experimental Station
    Partial Transcript: "It was only a two year course, but it was something..."
    Synopsis: Friel talks about taking a night course in chemistry after he left Alexis I. du Pont school. After that he worked at the DuPont Experimental Station. He talks about his wages and describes working as a lab assistant stabilizing nitroglycerin and the adverse effects of absorbing nitroglycerin through the skin. He talks about the toll on Kennett Pike.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Chemistry; DuPont Experimental Station; Kennett Pike; Nitroglycerin; Wages; Y.M.C.A.
  • Living near the powder yard and explosions at Hagley Yard; Working with a Dr. Hibbert at the DuPont Experimental Station; Relationship with members of the du Pont family
    Partial Transcript: "No I didn't, I'll tell you the truth..." "When you meet a great chemist, especially the first one, you have a great respect for him..."
    Synopsis: Friel talks about living near the powder yards and hearing an explosion. He talks about working as a lab assistant with a Dr. Hibbert at the DuPont Experimental Station, who, according to Friel, was the first man to work on polymerization at the DuPont Experimental Station. He says that he followed some DuPont scientists to work with them in Niagara Falls. He talks about some of his memories of the du Pont family.
    Keywords: Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; DuPont Experimental Station; Explosions; Hagley Yard; Niagara Falls; Polymerization; Polymers