Interview with Joe Costello, 1973 April 17 [audio](part 2)

Share/Save:
  • Ingredients in gunpowder and description of the gunpowder; Methods of making gunpowder; Replacing wheels on machinery
    Partial Transcript: "...a mixture of grain and dust is what it really was..."
    Synopsis: Costello talks about making and packaging gunpowder. He describes different methods of making gunpowder. He says that he's heard some stories about the powder yards on the Brandywine and how they used zinc balls in the manufacture of their gunpowder. He talks about replacing wheels on machinery.
    Keywords: Gunpowder; Methods of making gunpowder; Packaging; Wheels; World War (1914-1918); Zinc
  • Changes to structures at gunpowder factories; Keeping track of tools; Tool quality; Clothes; Goggles and personal safety
    Partial Transcript: "No, only the hydraulic press, they put the upper floor in the hydraulic press..."
    Synopsis: Costello talks about changes to the structures at the gunpowder plants he has worked in. He explains how factory workers kept track of their tools, and changes to the tools. He talks about the quality and lifespans of his tools. He talks about clothes and safety measures. He notes that safety rules have become much more strict in the recent past.
    Keywords: Accidents; Clothes; Goggles; Mallets; Safety; Shovels; Structures; Tools; Underwear
  • Line mechanic's job; Job structure; Belt driven machinery; Repairing the machinery
    Partial Transcript: "Well, they only have the one line mechanic, he goes over the mills every morning..."
    Synopsis: Costello describes the job of a line mechanic. He also discusses their wages. He talks about the hierarchy and status of jobs at the gunpowder factory. He talks about which machines are still belt driven, he also talks about gears with wooden teeth. He talks about what it takes to repair the machines.
    Keywords: Gears; Jobs; Line mechanics; Maintenance; Repairs; Rolling mills; Safety; Tires; Wages