Interview with Edward L. Bader, 1956 November 23 [audio](part 1)

Hagley ID:
  • Location of gates at Hagley Yard; Jobs at the machine shop and blacksmith shop; Building use at Hagley Yard
    Partial Transcript: "They represent cannon balls, yeah." Alfred du Pont designed this gate, see?"
    Synopsis: Bader talks about the geography and landmarks around and near Hagley Yard, Breck's Mill and the Hodgson Brother's woolen mill. He talks about work as a blacksmith and work in the machine shop at Hagley. He talks about how he got his job at the machine shop at Hagley Yard. Bader talks about the usage of buildings at the Hagley site.
    Keywords: Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; DuPont Experimental Station; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Hagley Yard; Hagley Yard machine shop; Hodgson Bros. woolen mill; Rokeby Mill; Spanish American War (1898); World War (1914-1918)
  • 1906 explosion at Hagley Yard; Alfred I. duPont's inventions; Other explosions at Hagley; Wages
    Partial Transcript: "February, 1906 there was a man killed by the name of Buchanan..." "The boss foreman paid you, in the early days...he paid once a month." "There was one, with much carelessness, where I think it killed seven men."
    Synopsis: Bader discusses explosions he witnessed at Hagley. Bader talks about some of Alfred I du Pont's experiments. He talks about how he worked on creating some of Alfred I.'s invention's designs. Bader discusses the contents of his diaries over the years. He discusses his wages over the years and in comparison to some of the powder workers who lived on site. He says that he lived in Wilmington and walked to work at Hagley. He talks about Lammot du Pont's contributions to the black powder manufacturing process.
    Keywords: "Yabba" Buchanan; Birkenhead Mill; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, Lammot (1831-1884); Experiments; Explosions; Hagley Yard; Saltpeter; Soda; Wages
  • Lunch hour; World War I; Workers Villages in the yard; More on explosions at Hagley; Close calls with accidents; Electric lights in the powder yards
    Partial Transcript: "As far as I remember we had one hour (for lunch)" "The boss would take the box outside and nail it up..." "Whatever happened one of those things blew, no one knows why it happened..."
    Synopsis: Bader talks about working at DuPont during the First World War. He describes working at the DuPont facility in Carney's Point, New Jersey. Bader talks about his memories of the workers' villages in the powder yards. Bader describes more accidents at the powder yards, as well as one of his own close calls working with a machine designed by Alfred I. du Pont
    Keywords: Accidents; Breaks; Carney's Point, N.J.; Chicken Alley (Del.: Village); Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Explosions; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Lunch; World War (1914-1918)
  • Jokes from the powder yard; Wages at the powder yard; Politics and the election of 1896; Installing turbines for the mills; Moving black powder around the yards; Identifying people and places in photographs
    Partial Transcript: "Alfred had great fun telling jokes..." "The only had two holidays a year..." "He said, you're a damn fine mechanic..." "If I had the tools, I could do the job as well as you could do..."
    Synopsis: Bader tells some humorous stories from his time in the powder yard. He talks about politics and the 1896 presidential election. He then identifies people and places in photographs shown to him by his interviewers.
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Businessman's Parade; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, Alfred Victor (1798-1856); DuPont Experimental Station; Hagley Gatehouse; Humor; Jokes; McKinley, William (1843-1901); Soda House; Wages

Digitized material in this online archive may document imagery or language that reflects racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive and harmful beliefs and actions in history. Hagley Library is engaged in ongoing efforts to address and responsibly present evidence of oppression and injustice in our collections. If you are concerned about the archival material presented here, or want to learn more about our ongoing work, please contact us at