Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1989 January 18 [audio]
- Mother's determination to have her not be a tom boy; Laundry day; Sledding down Breck's LaneSynopsis: Hayward talks about doing the household laundry. She says that her mother was determined that she not become a tom boy. She talks about her household's morning routine and how her parents divided labor with the laundry and her father retrieved water for laundry and bathing. She talks about sledding down Breck's Lane.Keywords: Breck's Lane (Wilmington, Del.); Gender roles; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Laundry; Morning routines; Tom boys; WaterTranscript: Julian: Maureen is at the University and she... What year?
Hanrahan: This is my senior year.
Hayward: Oh is it, congratulations.
Julian: And so she is doing this as a volunteer project. I mean she's not getting credit for it or anything and is here to help us work up this new project, so she's, we're at the point now of trying to finish it off and we will make sure to have things as authentic as possible. And what we're trying to do, I think I may have told you on the phone, but let me just restate it, is that we are trying to extend our work day week projects at Hagley to make the volunteer jobs - people like to see people doing things, and so we are trying to find authentic things that we can do that the volunteers are going to be willing to do. Now that's the hard part, you see, to get it both ways. But we're trying to do is to really pick your brains for your earliest memory at your mother's side of the way that you did the routine chores of the household, or what she did, or what grandmother did, We're talking the most mundane, not the fancy, interesting things, but the mundane. In particular, and we will be stressing this primarily, we're talking about laundry. And I am not real eager to remember my laundry days. I did an awful of it by hand and by wringer and all that good stuff, but we are trying to stress that and then we may go on in to some other things too.
Hayward: Well, I remember very well how we did the washing.
Julian: Okay, tell us about it. My Mother, of course, had four children, but she really had five, but one little girl was not with us only about 18 months, but four of us did survive. I was the second child and I was born between two brothers and being born between two brothers, of course, I became my Mother's helper because the boys liked to roam the woods and go swimming and that sort of thing.
Julian: Keep on going, I just want to check this.
Hayward: So I really was by her side a very great deal and I guess, it all came about through a challenge to my Mother, which might be interesting. I remember when I was about five years of age and my older brother was seven and there was a lady came to visit Mother that I don't recall, was a relative. She was just a friend I guess or knew of Mother, and it was in the early years, I guess, of her marriage when this visit took place. But this woman said to my Mother, "Have you any children?" And my Mother said, "Oh yes, I have a little boy about seven and a little girl nearly five and I have an infant baby upstairs." She said, "Oh, you have two sons and that little girl is between." And Mother said, "Oh yes." And she said, "Oh dear, what a pity because she'll become a Tom Boy." And I always felt, now I overheard this conversation, because my brother, well we were asked to be in the kitchen, but of course it wasn't long until we opened the door to see what this lady looked like, so I heard my Mother say this, she said, "Tom Boy, she'll never be a Tom Boy. In later years I felt this was a challenge to my Mother because truly she made me extremely feminine. I had a relationship with my brothers, but I was never allowed to roam the woods with them, I never saw them go in swimming, I never did anything with them on the outside. And of course in the house, there was no tumbling, no romping, you know, and it may seem strange, but they never entered my bedroom, so I became, but I loved both of them, but I became apart from them.
Man: This was in the C.I.D. house.
Hayward: And this was all in the Charles I. du Pont home. Where my Mother never told me it was a challenge, but later when I learned the story in a fuller sense, I realized that she did make me extremely feminine.
Julian: Well tell us about wash day.
Hayward: And so I had my own chores, and not that I ever, ever helped her wash, I did not. The washing took place in that little shed and in those days I guess we had a breezeway, you know, there was a little porch there in between the kitchen. And in the shed there was a long bench, a bench that would hold a larger tub and then on a little bit smaller and then that was the smallest size, three tubs. And Mother did everything on the washboard, she had a washboard. And then she would rinse the clothes in the second tub and then there would be a second rinse in this third tub. The water was carried for these tubs by my Father the night before from the spring.
Julian: From the spring, okay.
Hayward: Yes, from the spring near the houses. The spring was the water for what we called Pigeon Row and Long Row. Now of course those houses are all gone, but I remember them very, very clearly, what they looked like and so forth. And everybody, the spring was tested and we were allowed to use the water. Now there was a spring in the cellar of the Charles I. du Pont home which was tested, and we were advised never to use it, which we did not. And I was telling my husband this morning that the only use that was put to that was my Mother would take butter down there and just put it at the side of the spring. But the washing part of it, she did the next day after my Father had filled them.
Julian: What day is this now, do you remember?
Hayward: Oh this would be Monday, always on Monday.
Julian: Monday, okay, so on Sunday night he would go get the water?
Hayward: Yes, he would go get the water sometime during Sunday evening. She never went to the spring, she never carried water. And my Father was a very cooperative man and helped my Mother in every way that he could, although he worked ten hours a day in the mills. And he really didn't have much time, but when he came home he took care of us and relieved her a great many times. So she would always wash on Monday, in fact, she washed twice a week for four Children, because she was very adamant about us wearing clean clothes. I can never remember wearing clothes that were not clean, you know, even to our stockings. Everything had to be clean on us. And today I appreciate that about my Mother, because she did that, really, under a situation that is very hard for us to imagine today, you know. Because she devoted many, many hours, she got up with my Father and early got his breakfast. And the oatmeal was made the night before so that he could start the day with something hot, especially in the wintertime. They had a program that seemed to work in a matchless way. And then she would do the washing and I would help her take the clothes basket up, because we had to go through the breezeway and up the little stone steps to the backyard. And another thing my Father did early in the morning before he left, was put the line up.
Julian: Oh, okay, you didn't keep it up all the time, just on wash day.
Hayward: Oh no, just on wash day. And he would always get up early and put that up so she never had to do that. And then he would get the props out. They were laid on the upper level there in the yard by the little roof on the shed, you know. Everything just worked like clockwork.
Julian: Now let's go back, now did you boil any of your clothes?
Hayward: Mother never boiled clothes.
Julian: Okay, so you washed them in hot water, and the wash tub had hot water where you scrubbed them on the scrub board?
Hayward: Yes, she would heat - he would bring her a great big bucket of water that was in the kitchen that she would use for the tea kettle, and she had a great big tea kettle, so that when it was filled with hot water, she had almost enough hot water to have the hot water for the clothes. I think she put at least two big tea kettles of hot water in.
Julian: Did she have the water in the rinse tubs, were they hot too?
Julian: They would just be cold?
Julian: Same like we do it today, we use cold water rinse for our things.
Hayward: Yes, she did have that cold.
Julian: Now what about, did she blue, did she use any bluing?
Hayward: Yes, I think she did and that bluing was put in the last rinse.
Julian: For the white clothes.
Hayward: In the last rinse.
Hanrahan: And did she starch things?
Hayward: Yes, she often starched. My Father was a violinist you know, and he had the orchestra in Mt. Salem Church and he had very stiff cuffs, you know. He had gold cuff links in them, and I remember when he played the violin, you know...
Julian: Wouldn't that look pretty?
Hayward: Yes, I was so proud of those, you know, I was fascinated by those cuffs as he would draw his bow, you know, and she did starch those herself.
Julian: Did she do the front of the shirt too?
Hayward: Now that I'm not sure of, whether she did. She probably did.
Julian: Now did she ever, do you remember, for instance, if she got the water - did she ever move the rinse tubs up, when we were doing it we would take the, after the water in the first rinse tub would get too soapy, we would throw that out and put the second tub up to the first place, did she ever do anything like that, do you remember?
Hayward: I don't remember that she did that, she might have done it, but I don't remember that she ever handled the tubs.
Man: Having three tubs, maybe it wasn't necessary.
Julian: That might be true too.
Hayward: Well they were rather large, very large, because we took baths in them, that was our bathtub. My Father would, on a Saturday, you know, he'd bring that in.
Man: You know there was a train that went by there, I was wondering if they had the choo-choo train with all that smoke the day Mother washed...
Julian: Yes, oh my goodness.
Hayward: Well, I never remember her complaining about that. Whether the men driving the train, when they saw a wash was there, were very careful. It seemed like, the wonderful thing about that community, not only the families, the individual families cooperated with one another, but it seemed like the community did. We all cooperated with one another, you know, and it was just a very beautiful spirit there. So much so that I felt it even as a little girl because I was sensitive to that sort of thing you know. And as I mentioned in this book, I think I mention in this book, everyone seemed to look out for one another. I never remember a sledding accident on Breck's Mill.
Julian: That is something, everybody was watching the others.
Hayward: We'd always warn each other when we heard the trolley, "Trolley coming, trolley coming," we'd say. And if somebody did start down the hill before they'd heard it, there would be a tall, one of the tall boys would run down that hill ahead and would help stop the sled, turn off the sled.
Julian: Stop the train, oh I see, turn off the sled.
Hayward: We'd all help one another and so there was a very wonderful spirit as I recall, in that community, throughout the years.
- Drying laundry; Laundry soapSynopsis: Hayward talks about how her mother dried laundry. She says that she had an outside line for the summer and an indoor line in winter. She says that her mother never let them wear damp underwear and that they always had enough to make sure this never happened. She says that her mother used Fels-Naptha bar soap and Argo soap. She says that as of the time of the interview (1989) one could still buy Fels-Naptha at Acme. She talks about getting positive feedback on an autobiographical sketch that she wrote.Keywords: Drying; Fels-Naptha; Laundry; Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.)Transcript: Julian: You would leave your clothes out, then, all day?
Hayward: Yes, Mother left them there most of the day.
Julian: Did she hang anything inside the house?
Hayward: Yes, she had a line. She was very sure that we never put on clothing that was damp. And of course in the wintertime.
Julian: Okay, that's hard to get, right.
Hayward: In the wintertime we had, you know, very warm clothing. Different type clothing of course than summer. They were sort of heavy shirts, and then we had, some of our underwear came all the way down here and we wore leggings and she made sure that underwear was dry and she had a line in the back of the cook stove. And if it was brought in and wasn't very dry, it was always hung back there. We were never allowed to put that on that particular night. My Mother had enough changes for all of us so that we didn't have to do that.
Julian: Did you hang your underwear out on the line?
Hayward: Yes, she always hung it out on the line.
Julian: Okay, some people said that they didn't, I was just wondering.
Hayward: Well she did, and of course it did have a wonderful fresh smell anyway, although it was put back of the stove, it still, I remember, retained that.
Julian: What about soap, do you remember what she used for soap?
Hayward: Yes, Fels Naptha, never used anything but Fels Naptha.
Julian: That's a bar soap, right?
Hayward: Yes. I still use it.
Man: We still use it, not for everything.
Julian: Oh really.
Hayward: Show her the bar of soap.
Hanrahan: You can buy it?
Hayward: Yes, you can buy it in the store.
Man: My Mother, down in Maryland, she made soap out of lye.
Hayward: Yes, your mother made it because she couldn't get it.
Julian: Now, these packages look much like the ones that you had when you were a girl, is the packaging anywhere near the same?
Julian: You're kidding, hey, this is wonderful.
Hanrahan: We've been looking for - where do you buy them?
Hayward: Usually in the Acme you can get it, right in the Acme.
Julian: Okay, wonderful.
Hayward: There it is. That's the original...
Julian: And it looks just - it looked like this when you bought it?
Hayward: Yes, just like that as I recall.
Man: Now you can get the powder, and she uses it for rugs and things like that.
Hayward: And now you can get the powder, which my Mother couldn't.
Man: I think it has some lye in it, I haven't read the formula.
Julian: It had these little words, "Fels Naptha" all around the package and everything when you were a girl?
Hayward: Yes, all those words just exactly as you see it.
Julian: Okay, thank you.
Man: I've heard that if you were susceptible to Ivy Poisoning, if you were out in your garden, if you put this on, make a covering of it and let it dry...
Hayward: A lather.
Man: ...lather, and let it dry, then after you finished, wash it off and you wouldn't be quite as susceptible to catching the Ivy poisoning.
Julian: Oh, fantastic.
Hanrahan: And did you just - you shaved it into the bucket or something? How did you get the suds in the wash water?
Hayward: Well, Mother just used... Just scrubbed it on the clothes and then... She always rubbed it on the clothing and by the time she did that...
Hanrahan: Then the water gets sudsy.
Hayward: Yes, would get very sudsy in the end.
Hanrahan: Where did you get your tubs, did you buy them from a store there, or order them from away?
Hayward: Of course I remember them, really, from the time I could remember anything...
Julian: So you always had them, they were just always there.
Hanrahan: The hardware store.
Hayward: I imagine it must have been a hardware store where they bought them.
Julian: There on the property there?
Hayward: Well, in Wilmington.
Julian: Somewhere we read, one woman was saying that they used half of used powder kegs.
Man: My Mother often used lard cans. Matter of fact I think we have, I think we took the other one down to church. What did we do with that one Darling?
Hayward: Is it, do we have our rubbers in it?
Man: Oh yes, yes, I guess so.
Julian: But you think you got them from the hardware store or something?
Hayward: I think we, I'm pretty sure.
Julian: What kind of starch did you use?
Hayward: Now that I'm not sure of.
Hayward: Argo I imagine. I think that was the only starch you could get at that time.
Julian: It's interesting, my Father and my Mother-in-law both use Faultless and everybody up here is saying Argo, so I wonder if it's original.
Hayward: I never heard of that.
Hanrahan: I've only heard of Argo.
Julian: That's interesting, you know, there are things in the region.
Hayward: Where are they from?
Julian: North Texas and Arkansas, but it's interesting, we've been asking these questions at home too. My Daddy said, "She's five years older than I am." He was very much - he was having a wonderful time reading that today.
Hayward: Oh was he, Oh I'm so glad, did he enjoy it?
Julian: And I read it too, but he was savoring it, not just reading it, every word.
Hayward: Oh bless his heart.
Man: Like one man that read the book, at one time his father was editor of the local paper, Mr. Metten, who goes to Mt. Salem, they belong there, he bought it and he told me once, "I read it, enjoyed it, I read it in depth, because I read everything, being an editor, you know." So your Dad was sort of reading in depth.
Hanrahan: That's right.
Hayward: Well he really encouraged me a very great deal and he said in all fairness to me, I didn't know the gentleman, and he is Christian Science Church. His wife, I hadn't known her very long, I think they moved near Mt. Salem, you know, in perhaps a smaller home, and she was from the South and a very very fine lady. And I did get acquainted with her, knew her, but her husband, when he called me, I didn't know him at all because a lot of people thought she was a widow, she didn't speak about him and I think she didn't because he was a Christian Scientist, you know. I think if anybody had said something to her when she first arrived, she certainly would have told us.
Man: She comes occasionally.
Hayward: So when he called that Saturday morning, he said, I happened to answer the phone, and he said, "And you're Mrs. Ethel Louella Jones Hayward?" And I said, "Yes Sir, I am." "Well," he said, "I wanted to make sure. The reason I'm calling you, my wife purchased a book. Now let me think, I think it was down at that museum gift shop, someplace down there. I've never been down there." And I said, "Well that's the Hagley Museum Gift Shop. Yes, I have a book there on sale, Mr. Metten." And he said, "Well my wife picked it up and I started reading that book, and I guess in all fairness I better tell you what I did. I'm retired, but my Father at one time was head of the Wilmington paper here." Whatever they called it then, you know, it's gone through several stages as far as name is concerned. Is this recording? Oh is it, well anyway, I guess it's alright. So he went on to tell me that he was trained under his father and he said, "Of course when I read anything, I read it in depth." I said, "Well I think I can understand what that means.” And he said, "When I started reading your book, I read it in depth. That is from an editor's standpoint." I didn't tremble or anything, but I did wonder what his comment would be.
Julian: What he was leading up to, right.
Hayward: And he said, "I was about halfway through it when my wife called me for dinner and I said to her, 'Oh, dinner's not ready is it? And she said, "Yes." He said, "Well I'm reading this book by Mrs. Hayward and I don't want to put it down.
Julian: How nice.
Hayward: But to oblige her, I didn't want to eat a cold dinner, he said, but then I went directly back to it and he said he finished it. Now he said, "Mrs. Hayward, reading it from an editor's standpoint, to begin with, I find no mistakes in punctuation, I find no mistakes in the paragraphs." And he went on to tell me some more things about it. At that point I didn't know his religious inclinations at all and he said, “ The last thing I want to mention is, I like the way that you mentioned a little bit about religion, but I do remember that you were taken to Sunday School and church, but it was mentioned in such a way that I did not get the feeling that you were trying to convert anybody."
Julian: That's nice.
Hayward: And so I said, "Well, Mr. Metten, I'm very glad you called me and I do appreciate your appraisal of my book. I shall never forget it." Because I felt that that was someone who knows. ...who knew, you know, about it, so he was very encouraging.
- Help with the laundry; African-American domestic helper; Baking rusks, pies, and cakesSynopsis: Hayward talks about an African-American lady who sometimes helped around the house. She says that they stayed in contact after leaving Henry Clay and that she helped her write letters to her son in prison. She talks about her mother's starching and ironing routine. They talk about when her mother baked and some baked goods. Hayward and a man describe rusks. Hayward talks about how she learned to bake layer cakes and how when she was an adult her mother always wanted one whenever she visited.Keywords: African-Americans; Baking; Cakes; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Ironing; Irons (Pressing); Laundry; Letter writing; Pies; Rusks; Wilmington, Del.Transcript: Julian: It is well written. I want to go back and ask you one more washing question. Your wringer, was it attached to the tubs, or was it a freestanding?
Hayward: Mother never had a wringer.
Julian: Oh, she never had a wringer?
Hayward: No, she did it with her own hands. Mother was a very strong lady and she did it with her own hands.
Julian: Did you all change both sheets on a wash day or did you just change, put the top sheet on the bottom?
Hayward: That's right, top sheet on the bottom.
Julian: She you'd have one sheet per bed to wash?
Man: You never followed through on that, did you, always wore the clothes out?
Julian: No, well I... We got washing machines.
Hayward: That's why I didn't, you know, I suppose I would have done the same thing.
Julian: Right, if you had to wash two sheets. Okay, I think those are the main things. Did she ever have any help with the wash, or did she do it all by herself?
Hayward: She did it by herself. There was a very nice black lady who often came through the Village, just periodically she did, and she always stopped and asked Mother if she could do anything for her for the day. And then Mother would let her, Mother always gave her a day, but it was never the washing as I remember. She would always, well sometimes clean the two rooms upstairs and the hall. And Mother found she was very, very honest, and then she would clean the two rooms downstairs, and wipe the stairway down With water and dry it. She always wanted another cloth to dry the steps because she said if the children come in I wouldn't want them to slip. And then she would always do our kitchen floor, you know, and by that time, and she had lunch with us, and then she never had dinner with us, she would always leave. And sometimes, Mother gave her carfare I would remember, but sometimes she didn't use the carfare, you know, she would walk all the way in the city. And then she held onto us because Mother was very kind to her, I never remember my Mother turning her away. She always felt that it was the one way she could help her. She was a widow lady and Mother was very kind to her and so when we moved to the Highlands from the Village, then Mother told her where we were going and she used to come there and help us. And then when I was teaching school in the city, unfortunately she had a son who got in trouble and he was put in prison out at Farnhurst, which distressed her so much. She would ask me, and she couldn't read or write, and she would ask me to write letters to him, you know, of course I didn't sign my name or anything, I would sign her name and I would sit down and write those letters for her because she had been almost a part of our family for so long. And then later she died at Smyrna, buried there, I guess, somewhere. I said to my husband one time not too long ago, I said "Somehow I would like to stop at Smyrna and ask if they know where Rachel is buried." Her name was Rachel, but we never knew her last name.
Man: That's one of our great-granddaughter's name.
Hayward: That's quite a popular name, it seems, today.
Julian: Did you all then iron on Tuesdays?
Hayward: Yes, Mother always ironed on Tuesday. And Wednesday, sometimes there was a little bit of ironing left over, but on Thursday she washed again.
Julian: And Friday, did she clean on Friday, or bake?
Hayward: She always cleaned quite a bit on Friday.
Man: When you go home, you tell your Dad that you discovered a difference between the housewife and the minister. The minister has pressing engagements all during the week, not just on Tuesday.
Julian: Okay, I will try to remember that one, not just Tuesday, pressing engagements.
Hayward: And it was usually, you know, maybe my brother's jacket, or a blouse or a dress or something. The washing was never as much, but it did help out on the washing for Monday. Sometimes it would be raining so she didn't do it, you know. On Saturday she always polished her stove. That was always done on Saturday, the polishing of the stove. And my older brother, when he got old enough, he would scrub the kitchen, I was never asked to do that, never scrubbed the kitchen. When he got old enough, he helped her do that, you know, he had his chores too. And my younger did, had a few chores.
Julian: On ironing, where did she iron, did she iron on an ironing board, or did she iron on the kitchen table, or was it a freestanding board or what?
Hayward: She ironed, she had no stand to put the ironing - she would put it on the - our stove had a shelf at the end there, and she would put the ironing board on that and then the other end was on the table.
Man: My Mother used the back of a chair for one end of it.
Julian: Okay, for one end of the board. Did she iron the sheets, or did she just take them from that line and put them back on the bed?
Hayward: Not that same day, she never ironed sheets, but she would fold them nicely, and they were only taken off at the end of the week too.
Julian: What about pillow cases, did she iron the pillow cases?
Hayward: Not that I remember, no, unless somebody was going to come and stay overnight.
Julian: And then she'd sprinkle the clothes the night before and then iron them during that day?
Julian: She use any special, she used irons on the stove, how many irons would she be using?
Hawyard: Well you can, there's one of her irons, or is it outdoors there.
Julian: Yeah, there it is. There's one out there too. You've got a bunch of them there, don't you?
Hayward: Well, we have - I'll get the others. But you've seen these, haven't you dear?
Hanrahan: Yeah, I saw them, they have some in the Gibbons House.
Julian: Were there any special - these are a little different shapes, is there any difference in them?
Man: I'll get the others and show you.
Hayward: Then they came out where you could detach the handle. And then she got me a little iron and a holder bring mine. And I have a little ironing board, and when she ironed, I ironed. I did everything with her.
Julian: So you helped her with the ironing, or were you just playing?
Hayward: No it was just ironing my little.
Man: Of course she helped her, what did she have this for?
Julian: Oh my goodness.
Hayward: That's my little iron.
Julian: Now this is your one with the attachable...
Hayward: Yeah, you just pull that.
Julian: And this one attaches also, right?
Hayward: Yes, just like my Mother's.
Julian: Oh my goodness.
Hayward: See, and that comes off too.
Julian: Okay, now were there any special shaped irons that you used for any special jobs?
Hayward: No, doing the cuffs and the collars, she just used the point of the iron.
Julian: Just used the point, okay.
Hayward: We have heard that there were some special irons for special jobs, but we haven't been able to find...
Man: And also for cuffs and detachable collars, there were different irons.
Hanrahan: We’ ve seen them.
Julian: Okay, but you didn't use them.
Hayward: In the Village there, we were too far away to take things to a laundry in town.
Julian: Oh, right.
Hanrahan: Did you have certain days for baking that you remember?
Hayward: Yes, Mother always baked, as a rule, on Wednesday, that's when she did her baking.
Hayward: And it was mostly breads, or did she...
Hayward: Bread, she baked bread. Sometimes she baked what Have you ever heard of rusks.
Julian: Little toast kind of things, right.
Hayward: Yes, yes.
Man: A little sweeter than the...
Hayward: Just a little sweeter.
Man: When I came, I was going into the business world first, and I went to Beacom and I had a room on W. 9th Street and every weekend where I board I had a room too, or board, table and all and eats, and Mrs. Groves used to make rusks every weekend. They were just a little sweeter than the...
Julian: And a little different texture too, weren't they?
Julian: Sort of half between bread and cracker.
Hayward: That's right. There must have been egg in the rusk because they had a yellow look, and we loved them. Mother never made cinnamon buns for some reason, but she would make us the rusks as a rule.
Julian: What about cakes and pies?
Hayward: Mother used to make what we would call a loaf cake, but she made it in a frying pan. Made it in a frying pan. She never made a layer cake, and she wanted to make layer cakes and she had layer pans, but for some reason they never, she tried once or twice and it didn't turn out. Pies were her specialty, so when I was about fourteen she said, "I want you to learn how to make a layer cake. And I learned how to make layer cakes in the wood stove. And somehow I got to the point where I knew just how much kindling to put in and I began to, not at first did I have success, but I kept trying and trying and every Saturday, my Mother was very patient with me and after a while, by the time I was sixteen, I was the cake baker. She never baked another cake, never did. And then when we moved to the Highlands, I baked every week. I was teaching, but Saturday morning I'd get up and bake a cake. And I remember when I got married and came home the first time, my Mother came in he says, "Did you bring me cake? And I said, "No, I didn't." "You didn't bring a cake?" And he seemed to be looking forward to the cake more than he was to see me. Well he said, "Now I want to tell you something, Ethel, when you come down here, you bring us a cake." So then, my husband can verify this, every time I came home I brought a layer cake to them.
Julian: That way you guaranteed that you'd be welcome.
Hayward: Yes, for years and years I did that, didn't I, Dear?
- Medicines and home remedies; Dealing with her infant sister's death from pneumoniaSynopsis: Hayward talks about some of her mother's home remedies and medicines. She talks about having surgery at 82 years old and her lifelong avoidance of alcohol and tobacco, which she thinks helped her get through surgery. Hayward talks about her mother's knitting and sewing and describes her mother's methods and approaches to making clothes. She talks about losing her infant sister when she was nine years old. She describes the healing and grieving process which seemed to come full circle when her parents had a new baby. She talks about how her description of this event in her autobiography led to a friendship with a Catholic school teacher.Keywords: Autobiographies; Clothes; Home remedies; Knitting; Medicines; Pneumonia; Sewing; SiblingsTranscript: Julian: Let's switch to another subject, then. Is there anything else you can think of on ironing that you would to ask?
Julian: Okay, what about medicines, did you all have any medicines that you took - did you take any tonics or anything - did you take cod liver oil on a regular basis?
Hayward: Yes, we took cod liver oil during the winter, and the cold liver oil was from the bottle. And Mother had a doctor's book, what she called the doctor's book, and it was a wonderful book and she went by that. She never had a doctor when we had a cold, you know. You'd have to have a mustard plaster on or something like that. The only time that we ever had a doctor was when we had the measles and the mumps and chicken pox, that was the only time.
Julian: So she used that book for kind of home remedies?
Hayward: That's right, home remedies. And we never had to have anything like a tonic or...
Julian: Okay, you didn't have any tonics or anything?
Hayward: No, never had anything extra like that.
Man: You could buy liniments and cough syrups in the grocery store.
Hayward: Yes, she had - I think she had Sloan's liniment, I'm not sure, but she did have some liniments, but she took care when we fell down. She was a wonderful person. Even if we had a sore throat, we gargled in salt water, you know, and we'd come home...
Man: Kerosene on sugar.
Julian: Oh my goodness.
Man: A spoonful of sugar with a little kerosene on it. Yes, we took that if the throat got worse.
Julian: I'd never heard that one before.
Man: And when I was down in Maryland, in a very small town, whenever we got a cough, Mother always had a bottle of Honeytuloo - it was sweet - I didn't care when it was, I'd welcome a cold, you know, because The stuff was good, but it did the trick you know, Honeytuloo.
Julian: H-O-N-E-Y-T-U-L-O or something?
Man: I guess so, Honeytuloo. It was a honey base I guess. Well to this day, if we get a sore throat, we use a lot of honey here. We put it on grapefruit. Even this morning I had it, she is diabetic.
Hayward: Well, I'm just slightly diabetic, I'm just a little bit over the borderline.
Man: Honey and lemon and water.
Hayward: I've never allowed myself, I'm very, very strict. There's only one word you can apply to that, and that's discipline. You've got to learn how to discipline your life. And when I was 82 I had to have a serious operation and I had my sugar down to five, way down, that low. And the doctor, the surgeon told me, well before I was wheeled into the operating room, I guess he was ready, but I didn't see him, he stood at the back and he said to me, "Hello Mrs. Hayward. ” And I said, "Hello doctor." He said, "How are you this morning?" And I said, “ I'm fine." And he said, "Well now, I'm not a bit worried about you." I said, "You're not, well I hope I don't give you any trouble. Why aren't you worried about me?" And he said, "You've got such good blood." And I came through that operation with flying colors, I had no complications whatsoever. And one thing, when the anesthetist came in to talk to me before I was operated on, I entered the hospital Wednesday and they began preparing me for this operation that was to take place on Friday at eight o'clock in the morning, so he came in on Friday and he said to me, well he asked me a few questions and he said, "Now Mrs. Hayward I have to ask you a personal question, if you don't mind." I said, "I don't mind at all, I'm here to help, I want to get well." And I tried to keep in good spirits about it you know. I had never been operated on in my life before, no operations when I was young, and to face it at that age, you know, I thought well the only thing to do is to be optimistic, and that's the attitude I took, fortunately. They claim that that's half the battle is how you feel mentally. Well, I said, "I don't mind any questions you want to ask me, I'm here to help you as well as feeling you are going to help me. “ Well, did you ever smoke in your life?" I said, "No, I never had a cigarette in my life.” "Do you mind telling me why?" I said, "Well, I'll just put it this way. I never wanted something about that tall and no bigger than a lead pencil to tell me how to lead my life. When I got that idea, I wanted nothing to do with it." And he looked at me rather strange, like, I wonder. And I caught it and I said, "Well, you can ask my husband if you want to."Oh, no, no, no," he said. "Now the next question. Have you ever had - did you ever drink any alcoholic beverage?" I said, "No, never in my life. My Father was very temperate, I had an uncle, his brothers were all very temperate. Any kind of liquor was never brought into my home as a child. When I grew up and was at college and so forth, somehow I just never took any habit like that on." He looked again at me and there was a long pause. "I said I have no way of verifying this of course." Well he finally said, "Thank you, Mrs. Hayward. All I've got to say about you, you have everything going for you."
Julian: Sounded good.
Hayward: So then he came to see me after the operation and he told me that when the doctor first began to operate that my blood pressure went up so high, he had to pause a while, and the nurse was there and she kept saying to me, "It’ s wonderful, but her heart's beating normally and she's breathing absolutely, there's nothing in her breathing...
Man: Our daughters, well three of them came over and spent two weeks with us, but we have tapes of the funeral of the father and mother and the minister read some poems that we had written about them and said, and our picture was in - our American friends there in the casket, so they told us. But it comes out very well.
Julian: It is amazing how well they do pick up. This is a nice one too, it's a Sony, it's a nice recorder. Let's switch over now to sewing. What do you remember about, did you make quilts or did you do darning, or anything about sewing, did you Mother make your clothes?
Hayward: Yes. She made my own clothes.
Man: She made the dress on that little one, when Ethel was nine years old in the book you brought.
Julian: Okay, that's right, I'd forgotten that, that's right.
Hayward: Yes, this is a picture - and my Mother designed my own clothes. In this picture, she designed this dress. She had a basic pattern, she was really, when I look back on it now, extremely clever in a way, and she made this little bodice which is
Julian: Maureen, have you seen it ~ that's my nine-year-old picture, and my Mother designed that with the double sleeve and so forth.
Julian: And a double skirt too.
Hayward: Yes, and the double skirt, that was her idea. My Mother was not fashion conscious, but she was quality conscious. She never bought material that wouldn't - well it was material that had to last because hems were let down, pressed and let down after she made the dress, and there were always wider seams here, if I got, you know, a little stouter or something, and the sleeves were always, you know, nice hems in them. And I remember wearing my school dresses for three or four years.
Julian: You didn't have a sister to hand them down to either did you?
Hayward: No I did not, because the sister that was born when I was seven years old, died when I was nine. And of course there is quite a story about her death and so forth. The sadness that it had left our family, because I had been an only daughter for seven years and my Father and Mother were so happy to have this little girl, named Beatrice, and she had my Mother's name and she favored my Mother because my Mother was a brunette, but my Father was blonde. And I was very blonde at the time, and you see I still have sort of brown hair because I was flaxen haired really, very blonde. But the only thing I inherited from my Mother was her dark blue eyes. Now the only way you can tell I had blue eyes, I think, is that they're so dark, very dark blue. Well this little girl, Beatrice, also inherited the blue eyes, but she inherited my Mother's dark hair. And because she looked so much like my Mother, she was named Beatrice Victoria for my Mother. And when she died of pneumonia, when she was 18 months old, it was very, very sad for our family. And very traumatic for me, and that's another story which I didn't write up in the book; however, she died when I was nine years old. And then my sister was born ten months later, a new sister. And she was named Clara Helen, for a cousin, and Clara was for my Father's - one of his sisters, Clara Helen her name was. And of course she was ten years younger than I was.
Julian: That's another generation almost, right?
Hayward: Yes, it was almost another generation. But, as I mentioned in this book, when the second little sister arrived ten months after the one passed away, I think I wrote "there was a kind of gentle healing." There just seemed to heal so much. And I might retell you about an experience I had with a very fine young man, I don't whether he's teaching at Padua now or not, but he came across my book and got in touch with me and we had a little conference and he met my husband. He was a very fine young man and what has been interesting to me since I wrote this book, was the fact of the many, many contacts I've had concerning it, and how the book appealed, the various parts of the book appealed to different people. It was always surprising.
Julian: It's interesting, yes.
Hayward: And what was surprising to me about this young Catholic teacher, was the fact that he - the way I had written about this sister. So I felt there was something very deep about him. He said, and he even quoted the line I wrote about her. He said, "The thing that appealed to me so much, was the way you wrote about the death of this little sister and the effect it had, the sorrow that seemed to pervade your home. But after the arrival of the next little sister, that line was so beautiful where you wrote, '...and there was a kind of gentle healing that took place at last.'"
Man: He came out here to see us. Matter of fact, he teaches history and ethics, and of course you know how your Father's library - you wonder what's gonna happen to it. I gave him about a half a dozen books on ethics and history, some of Toynbee, I guess you've read some of Toynbee's books, English historian and so on. He was a lovely young man, he sent us a Christmas card, we had sent him... And told us again how much he enjoyed...
- Books, almanacs, and magazines; School; Mother made her own clothesSynopsis: Hayward talks about her family's books, magazines and almanacs. She describes having her family bible restored. She says that her family used an almanac, but cannot remember which one. She lists some of the magazines read in her house. She briefly talks about going to school. Hayward says that her mother had quilts, but did not make them. She talks about how her mother made her own skirts, shirts, and aprons.Keywords: "Ladies Home Journal"; "The Delineator"; "The Monitor"; "Youth Companion"; Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.) Sewing; Almanacs; Books; Family bibles; Magazines; Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.); Shirts; SkirtsTranscript: Julian: About books, since we were talking about books here, I think it's appropriate to ask is, do you remember did you all have any books particularly, or magazines, almanacs, especially almanacs, did you all read the almanacs?
Hayward: Yes, we always had the almanac.
Julian: Which one, do you remember?
Hanrahan: Do you remember where you got them, from a bank?
Hayward: Usually from the drugstore.
Julian: The drugstore.
Hayward: Always got them from the drugstore. We had one drugstore in the village and we often got them. And then the next book we had was the Bible.
Julian: The Bible, right. This is your family Bible?
Hayward: Yes, our family Bible.
Man: My wife's, ours is over there.
Julian: It's been used too.
Hayward: Oh yes it has. It's all been reconditioned.
Julian: Oh, it's illustrated.
Hayward: Oh it's illustrated, it's a beautiful book.
Man: You know that was in several pieces. And right on Ebright Road up here, the man that did the printing and so on for Ethel's book...
Hayward: He does nothing but redo...
Man: We asked him about it and he told us where it was. He did that and he had to send to Germany for some of the type, didn't he do a wonderful job? Those leaves were in there creased.
Julian: Oh my goodness, it's a beautiful job.
Hayward: That's the family Bible.
Julian: And of course the middle of it between... Is your family history?
Hayward: Yes, between the middle of it is the write-up. And it has also in there, let me see...
Man: This is ours. Oh, alright, yes.
Hayward: That when we taught at Mt. Salem. Bible.
Man: They gave us that
Julian: My goodness, that's lovely.
Man: And the printer said these are almost invaluable because you can't get them like that.
Hayward: Well I'll tell you, my brother had it, my brother was an artist. Before you go I’ d like to go up in the living room and see the picture of the Charles I. du Pont home that he painted.
Julian: Oh, I'd love to.
Hayward: My younger brother, that was named for my Father, was an artist. I just now read a sonnet up there that I had written about him...
Man: See, here's the family...
Hayward: Yes. I don't know whether I've written up my son's death in there yet or not.
Man: No, because it's been in the repair man's hands.
Julian: Oh, it's beautiful.
Hayward: And does that have the Apocrypha?
Man: Oh yes.
Julian: Maccabees, the Second Maccabees.
Man: Oh yes, the Apocraypha is in all pulpit Bibles.
Julian: Okay, so you would get the almanac from the drugstore?
Hayward: From the drugstore. Mr. McClure had the drugstore and usually my Father would go down and always get the almanac and they followed that very, very closely. As to weather and so forth.
Julian: Would you read the little stories and things in them?
Hayward: Yes, we would read the little stories.
Julian: But you might have followed the household hints and so forth?
Hayward: Yes, and the household hints. It was a very valuable thing to have, you know, because there wasn't much you could go by in raising children. And Mother had very, very good luck with us health wise. We were really healthy children.
Man: I solved the puzzle that was sent through the mail and for it I got a year subscription to the "Youth Companion."
Julian: Oh my Daddy still has those.
Man: I’ ve got those at home. Have you?
Julian: Yeah, my Daddy was very proud of his "Youth Companions."
Man: Was his ministry nearby?
Julian: No, he was down in Arkansas and Texas. He just came up here to live with us. I'll have to get you all together, you all would have fun comparing notes and things.
Hayward: Well we would, oh my.
Julian: Do you remember any magazines that you took, like the "Youth Companions,” did you all take any other magazines in your home?
Man: We took "Etude" a little later.
Man: "Etude" is music.
Hayward: Well, that's when our son became interested.
Man: That's about sixty years ago.
Julian: Do you remember "Ladies Home Journal" or "The Delineator?”
Hayward: I don't remember that. Mother occasionally, Dad would pick up when he went in town, I guess from the newsstand, the "Ladies Home Journal” and of course that was a real, real treat when he felt he had enough money to spend that for my Mother. But at school, the Alexis I. du Pont School provided us with very wonderful literature. I remember one magazine was called "The Monitor" and it was very fine.
Julian: That's what I remember when I was thinking.
Hayward: You were thinking of "The Monitor", so we used to, we weren't allowed to take it home, but we could go to the library table and look at it. There were some other magazines I was trying to think, but we had some very good literature there. We were very privileged, it was almost like going to a private school at that time.
Julian: You had the church literature for Sunday School and things like that.
Hayward: Yes, the du Ponts, of course, were trustees at the time and the du Ponts were very much for culture and they were very wonderful with us. I describe what they did for us, the ice cream at the end of the school.
Julian: That was my Daddy's favorite chapter, was about the schools.
Hayward: Oh, was it?
Julian: Yeah, that was it, and mine was on May, so we'll get that later.
Hayward: Oh yes, the story of the little Irish girl.
Julian: That was fun, that was a real nice story.
Hayward: Yes, beautiful story about her, that's true.
Man: This picture she gave, real linen she brought from Ireland to give to Ethel. Your Home did the work.
Julian: That is nice.
Hayward: That's the jaunting cart.
Julian: A jaunting cart.
Hayward: And the couple there, they are engaged, but they do not ever go out Without a chaperone, and the driver is their chaperone.
Julian: As their chaperone, okay. That's neat. Did you all do any quilting?
Hayward: My Mother did not have time for quilting. She some- how, I think from her own mother, and her own mother died when she was fourteen, but her own mother must have known a great deal about it because my Mother had... A lot of quilts. Oh, really quite a few quilts. Four or five of them here. So she had quite a few quilts for us.
Julian: But she didn't make them herself?
Hayward: No, she did not make them herself.
Julian: But she did a lot of darning?
Hayward: She darned our stockings, yes. Yes, always did that at night. And then she had a sewing machine in the kitchen there. She made all my dresses.
Julian: Did she made her own clothes or did she have a dress- maker for herself?
Hayward: She made her own skirts, you know, usually shirtwaist and skirts she had most of the time. Rarely made a dress. Usually a shirtwaist and skirt they wore at that time. 'Cause I don't think they had many skirts.
Julian: Yeah, I don't think they had as many clothes as we do today.
Man: I always thought the apron was a clever thing. You could wash an apron, you know, you could launder that so easily, instead of doing the whole skirt.
Julian: Doing the whole skirt, right.
Hayward: In the story of May, I remember I spoke about my Mother's long apron that came almost to the end of her belt. Well, it came to the hem, really, and covered her whole skirt and when she met me after May got on the trolley and I stood there, you know, just couldn't move. She came up and got me and I was sort of shivering - you'll have to read that story, Dear, it's very poignant.
Julian: Right it is, that's the right word.
Hayward: And she wrapped that apron around me and brought me home.
- Growing and preserving food; Friendships; Explosions; ChoresSynopsis: Hayward talks about her father's garden and preserving food grown in it. She talks about how they cooked this preserved food. She describes friendships between Protestants and Catholics and the fourth of July picnic at Saint Joseph's on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church. She recalls attempting to get her brother to marry a Catholic girl. She talks about explosions at Hagley and what it was like to be a child waiting to hear whether or not her father had been hurt. Hayward says that she had chores to do at home and describes cleaning the glass chimney on an oil burning lamp.Keywords: Beans; Catholics; Chores; Food; Fourth of July celebrations; Friendship; Gardens; Hagley Yard; Jams; Meals; Preserves; Protestants; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.) Explosions; SchoolTranscript: Julian: A nice story. Okay, I guess we've covered about all our, do you have anything else you might think of?
Hayward: No, I don't think so.
Man: Her Dad had quite a nice garden in back, up the hill, that's sort of an early home type of thing.
Hayward: Yes, and I guess one reason why we were so healthy was, Mother rarely ever bought any canned goods. She seemed to be afraid of them.
Man: Put up fruit and jellies and things.
Hayward: She put up applesauce for us, my Father would bring home from the market at least two baskets of apples and she would can this delicious applesauce and later on he'd bring two or three baskets, at different times, of apples and peaches and she canned all the peaches. And then from the garden up there she canned all the tomatoes, and then if there were green tomatoes left, she made green tomato preserves for us and he would buy a basket of grapes from somebody and we had all grape jelly.
Julian: Did she made sauerkraut?
Hayward: No, she never made sauerkraut. I didn't think so. But we had a neighbor who did.
Julian: Oh really?
Hayward: And she really shared - then that was another thing, the neighbors shared with each other.
Julian: She made sauerkraut, so she'd share her sauerkraut and you'd give her some grape jelly or something.
Hayward: Yes, grape jelly or sometimes Mother would give, she had a family of four children, Mother would give her a can of peaches, you know, something like that, we'd share back and forth like that. But I remember, oh, and I loved sauerkraut, but Mother never made that.
Julian: Was this other lady of a different nationality than yours?
Hayward: No, no. Her husband worked for the DuPont Company too.
Julian: And he was more or less of the same background?
Hayward: Yes. He was the painter.
Man: Aunt Ella's picture, is it Aunt Ella?
Julian: ...picture's in there.
Julian: Yes, her picture is in there because every Saturday night, there's a picture of two women.
Julian: Right, that was toward the front.
Hayward: Yes, and it's a very interesting story because they had an effect on my life. I always felt that they did. There's two instances in that book where they...
Julian: There they are, Ella Williams.
Hayward: And Mrs. McCartney and Mrs. Ella Williams, and they seemed to touch my life in a very special way. They really caused me to think very deeply, so I never forgot them.
Man: You know we had two more or less new members in the last few years at Mt. Salem, and this man…
Hayward: The school hours, as I recall, of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, the hours were a little different and we rarely got to associate with the children. We wanted to, we liked them very much.
Julian: There was no feeling between you?
Hayward: Oh no, not at all. The St. Joseph's Church, each year on the Fourth of July had a picnic, and at that picnic Protestant and Catholics came just the same. We supported that and enjoyed it, all day long. We'd go up to this picnic, back and forth, you know, come home, then go back again at night, and it was just a marvelous picnic. And that was one thing we looked forward to every year, joining in with our Catholic friends. In fact, two of my very closest friends while I was growing up were two Catholic girls. Of course I knew Sadie, the other one was Jane Bradley.
Man: She was interested in her older brother marrying one of them.
Hayward: Elizabeth Monigle, well she was a girl, the only thing I can say, she knew no guile, she was just absolutely, practically perfect, she was a beautiful character girl. So much so that I tried to get my brother to marry her. I said, "You'll never find a girl like Elizabeth." They thought the world of each other, but not that way.
Julian: Not that way. I tried to arrange a marriage too, it didn't work.
Hayward: No, it didn't work out. He admired her very much. She graduated in our class and so did Jane and we were friends throughout our lives. They were very, very wonderful girls, and Sadie Toner that's mentioned in the book, was a very fine Catholic girl too. But in the summertime I was quite interested in the wildflowers and they were really, well my Mother had a few garden flowers, but not too many because our garden was very small. Very small, you needed it for food. They used it for vegetables primarily. And we had to use it it was more economical to use what ground we had around the Charles I. du Pont home for a garden where we had lettuce and onions and string beans, and of course the lima beans, and they were the pole beans. And Mother didn't can them, but we had the dried beans during the winter that Mother bought. We had dried bean soup, which they claim was very, very good for you.
Julian: I'm having beans tonight.
Hayward: Oh are you - yes, dried bean soup was very good. And then Mother was a great one to make us vegetable soup. And I remember after sledding, you know, she always made a point to either have this bean soup or the vegetable soup when we came home from sledding and we'd have this warm dish.
Julian: Go down and warm you up from the inside out.
Hayward: Oh it was really wonderful. She had all those ways you know, and if we, well, got out stockings too wet, we had to change them immediately and so forth. So she gave us such excellent care that we've lived longer than either one of our parents. Well, just my sister and I are living now, but my older brother and younger brother lived to be past eighty, and my younger sister will soon be eighty years of age. So they knew how to take care of children and how to feed them and look after them. As I said before, and especially in that book, I don't know that I've said these particular lines about the book I wrote about the Brandywine Valley, but I felt that after the explosions, the beauty of that valley would somehow surround us and it created a sort of healing in the homes because somebody's father was always taken.
Julian: So did you all walk very solemnly to find out?
Hayward: Yes, yes, it affected us, you know. And I think in that way, we became kind to each other, you know. Because I would be very kind to the girl walking next to me because I didn't know whether her father had been blown up, I didn't even know whether my Father was, and so we'd walk home, as I mentioned, very solemnly, hand in hand. There was that very deep feeling between the children and it seemed to continue when everything was going fine in the village, and so I felt it was a wonderful thing after I grew up and began to look back on it. One of my chores on Saturday morning was to clean the lamps. You see we had no electric light.
Julian: And they would get sooty?
Hayward: Yes, and I had to clean those lamps, and polish those globes so that you couldn't see a spot of water on them. And they were polished, sometimes, with newspaper. Take sheets of newspaper.
Julian: I've always heard that newspaper does an extremely good job of cleaning glass.
Hayward: Yes it does, it did.
Hanrahan: Doesn't leave black smudges or anything?
Hayward: No, and that's what we did. Mother would cut various sized pieces for me, you know, and I'd go out, and that was done in that little shed. And then in the summertime my Mother cooked in that shed. She had a coal oil, what she called a coal oil stove and we cooked on that, she even had an oven to go on the burners, you know. So it was amazing how everybody seemed to know how to get along, and get along beautifully and we all seemed to be healthy.
Julian: That's need. We better get home. Better go check on that...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.