Interview with John A. Dougherty, 1956 October 19 [audio](part 1)

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  • Dougherty's personal background; Brief overview of Dougherty's work and education; Dougherty's father's job; Processing charcoal; Siblings
    Partial Transcript: "My daddy was born in Ireland... my mother was born right on the Brandywine in the same house where I was born, but its torn down now."
    Synopsis: Dougherty talk about his parents and his career in the powder mills. He worked for DuPont from 1895 to 1945. He says that he started working at 15 ans explains that he didn't want to go to work and would have rather finished his schooling. He describes his first job in the Eagle packing house. He talks about his father's job at the powder mills and says he started in 1876. He says that his father helped develop a special variety of powder and that he also took care of some of the furnaces in the powder yards. He looks at some photographs of the powder yards. He describes how charcoal was processed for black powder manufacture. He says that he had one brother who worked in the powder yards before he learned a trade. He had another brother who worked for the railroad.
    Keywords: Black powder; Brandywine Creek; Charcoal; Goldey-Beacom College; Immigration; Ireland; Photographs; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); School; Work
  • Dougherty's father's job; Grandfather who died in a powder yards explosion; Dougherty talks about his job in the powder yards; Working in the powder yard office; The keg mill
    Partial Transcript: "My granddaddy went to work for them in 1851..."
    Synopsis: Dougherty finishes talking about this father's career working for DuPont and members of the du Pont family. Dougherty talks about his grandfather who died in a powder explosion in 1861. Dougherty talks more about his job in the powder yards - he worked in the Eagle packing house for seven years. He says that Henry Belin du Pont used him as a runner when he went to work in the powder yard office when he was 22. He says that by the time he worked there the first office was closed and used for storage. He talks about the appearance and sounds of some of the bells in the powder yards. He talks about his job in the office and going to Goldey-Beacom College. His first job in the office was addressing calendar sent from the office.
    Keywords: Bells; Brandywine powder works; Du Pont, Henry Belin, 1873-1902; Explosions; Goldey-Beacom College; Handwriting; Keg mill; Nicknames; Penmanship; Sounds; Work
  • Working in the powder yard office; Packing powder during the Spanish American War
    Partial Transcript: "He walked in to T.C. du Ponts office, an hour afterward he said, T.C. wants to see you..."
    Synopsis: Dougherty continues to talk about his job in the powder yard office and about the people he worked with and encountered. He says that he went to Goldey College (Goldey-Beacom College) for night classes. He describes packing powder during the Spanish American War. He then compares working in the office to working in the powder yards.
    Keywords: Carpenter, R. R. M. (Robert Ruliph Morgan), 1877-1949; Du Pont, Eugene, 1840-1902; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; DuPont; Goldey-Beacom College; Spanish American War (1898)
  • Night work in the powder yards
    Partial Transcript: "Yes, the big glazing mill, as we called it... that mill was emptied every morning, that the first task..."
    Synopsis: Dougherty says that the glazing mill ran day and night. He describes what he can recall of work in the glazing mill. He talks about black powder manufacture and the drying step of powder making.
    Keywords: Blackpowder; Glazing mills; Work
  • Changes to Dougherty's office job; Moving into the DuPont Building; Salary and wages at DuPont; Attempts to form a union in the powder yards
    Partial Transcript: "I worked up in the statistics and the explosives department, I was never in anything but the explosives department..." "...A department head could use his own discretion, if he thought a man was worthwhile..."
    Synopsis: Dougherty says that he worked on statistics in the explosives department. He talks about moving to the DuPont Building in Wilmington, Delaware. He says that before moving there he worked in the "meat house," an office on top of a butcher shop. He talks about his salary and wages at DuPont and says that, while he wasn't working in the powder yards, he was aware of attempts to form a union there.
    Keywords: DuPont; DuPont Building; Explosives department; Salaries; Unions; Wages; Wilmington, Del.
  • Growing up in the Upper Banks; Narrow gauge railroad track in the powder yards;
    Partial Transcript: "My granddaddy was killed there in 1861... she (Dougherty's grandmother) got a widow's pension, eight dollars a month and a free house."
    Synopsis: Dougherty talks about his childhood home in the Upper Banks. His is grandmother was allowed to run her home as a boarding house because of his grandfather's death in an 1861 explosion. He says that DuPont took what his grandmother's boarders owed her out of their pay, which DuPont sent directly to her. He describes the interior and floor plan of the home. Dougherty and the interviewers talk about still standing worker's homes. He talks about Pierre and Gene Ferraro. Dougherty talks about narrow gauge railroad tracks going through the powder yards.
    Keywords: Boarding Houses; Dougherty, "Big Rose"; Explosions; Ferraro, Gene; Ferraro, Pierre; Floorplans; Furniture; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Homes; Money; Narrow gauge railraod; Pensions; Rent; Stoves; Upper Banks