Interview with Edward B. Cheney, 1958 June 13 [audio](part 2)

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  • Barn burners and worker dissatisfaction; Drinking and alcohol use; Law and order in the villages
    Partial Transcript: "The only thing I remember was...the barn that burned, set fire to the mills."
    Synopsis: Cheney says that the only incident of worker dissatisfaction he recall was a barn burning. In comparing his DuPont's situation to the workers at Bancroft's Mills, he says that they were about the same. He talks about recreational drinking and alcohol use, suggesting that there wasn't much time for recreational drinking. He talks about how the Irish community had a strong sense of unity, he says that Catholic and Protestant Irish people got along.
    Keywords: Alcohol; Barn burnings; Chickens; Drinking; Irish Americans; Keyes' Hill; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Unionization; Work
  • Sundays; Relations with the city of Wilmington; African Americans along the Brandywine
    Partial Transcript: "Sunday was observed very well..."
    Synopsis: Cheney describes the community's Sunday Routine. He talks about the workers villages and their relationship with the city of Wilmington. He says that no African Americans worked in the powder mills, but that they were sometimes employed in the area for menial labor. He talks about the du Pont family's interest in horses.
    Keywords: African Americans; Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.)Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.); Green Hill Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, Del.); Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Education; Early career at DuPont
    Partial Transcript: "No, I never graduated..." "At the age of six I started at Alexis I..." "I was a stenographer at the storehouse..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about working in Philadelphia for the Remington typewriter company and as a stenographer in a shipyard. He says that he moved out to Pittsburgh in order to be near his brother who was staying with a doctor there to treat his Raynaud's disease. He talks about getting his job at the DuPont plant in Carney's Point, New Jersey. He says that he was involved with opening the Hopewell plant. He talks about World War I and its aftermath. He says that plant got a new manager who was fired despite being great at his job, which made him fear for his job security.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Beacom Business College; Carney's Point (N.J.); Hopewell plant; Philadelphia, Pa.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raynaud's disease
  • Getting a job outside of DuPont; Returning to work at DuPont at Carney's Point testing gunpowder
    Partial Transcript: "You can be away a year from the DuPont Company and it won't break your record...so I went out and got a job with H.H. Stone Company bankers..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about working outside of DuPont. He says that he spent about six months selling stock and was later offered a job at the Hamburg Broom Works, which he turned down in favor of selling stock. He later returned to work at DuPont's Carney's Point, N.J., plant. He describes his job there testing gunpowder and making sure it was properly packed.
    Keywords: Carney's Point (N.J.); Gunpowder; H.H. Stone Company; Hamburg Broom Works; Interest; Quality Control; Stock
  • The Bedaux System at DuPont's Carney's Point, N.J., plant; World War II; Nitrocellulose plant at Carney's Point; Management at DuPont
    Partial Transcript: "...the Bedaux System came to Carney's Point..." "Carney's Point was always a plant until after the war ended... then they built a nitrocellulose plant..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about implementing the Bedeaux System at the Carney's Point plant. He says that he helped the Bedaux team become familiar with the plant, and he eventually managed it. He says that the system ended as production increased due to World War II. After that, he took over the shipping department. After the war, Carney's Point got a nitrocellulose plant, where Cheney worked until he retired at sixty-five years of age. He describes his retirement party. He summarizes his working life at DuPont. He talks about the Bedeaux System again, and discusses how the workers disliked it, until they realized they could earn extra money. He says that in his time at DuPont, management made a point of knowing the workers by their first names. He talks about DuPont's 150th anniversary and how three generations of the Cheney family worked for DuPont.
    Keywords: Bedeaux System; Efficiency Movement; Labor relations; management; Nitrocellulose; Strikes; Time management; World War (1939-1945)