Brandywine Valley oral history interviewees' photographs

About this collection

Hagley Museum staff conducted a series oral history interviews between 1954 and 1990, speaking primarily with individuals who had worked at the DuPont Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek during the yards’ final decades of operation or who had lived near the yards as spouses or children of DuPont Co. workers. Some of the individuals who were interviewed donated, lent for copying, or provided information on the photographs in this collection. The images primarily depict the worker communities which surrounded the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek or the powder yards themselves. For a detailed description of the entire collection, click here to view the finding aid.

    Click here to view and listen to the collection of Oral histories on work and daily life in the Brandywine Valley.
    Image: DuPont Co. workers enjoying a drink near the Club House at Thompson's Bridge. Click to view.

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Fred Evans near former cannon house in front of Christ Church
Old cannon house in front of Christ Church, where powder was tested.
Fred Evans near former cannon house in front of Christ Church
Old cannon house in front of Christ Church, where powder was tested.
Testing area for powder, DuPont Experimental Station
View through doorway and down hall showing apparatus to test powder.
Graining mill explosion
View of rubble after explosion from across river.
Damage to Upper Banks and Upper Yard from October 1890 explosion
View of several houses and yards damaged in explosion. Bell tower visible in background, field of cabbages or cauliflower in foreground. Typed caption: "Information supplied by Mr. Daniel Shields. Upper Yard--Residences (double houses) reading from right to left: Samuel Grogran, Tom Callahan, James Ward, Mary Dougherty. Building with tower known as Bell House, basement used in winter to split chestnut fence and rail posts for farm property. Willow for charcoal house stored in Bell House. Charcoal house to left of Bell House. Eleutherian Mills Barn in background. Vegetable garden (cauliflower) in foreground."
Employees in New Machine Shop at Hagley Yard
Identification by Edward L. Bader: Back row left to right: E.M. Taylor (Shop Superintendent), Ed Bader, and Fred Ivins. Front row left to right: William Waterbury, Duncan Thatcher.
Saltpeter refinery at Eleutherian Mills (Upper Yard)
Note by Macklem dated 1928 March 9: "In the background can be seen the residence of E.I. du Pont de Nemours, erected by him early in the last century and occupied by him as a home until the time of his death, after which his second son Henry du Pont lived here until his death in August 1889. The property now belongs to the estate of Col. Henry A. du Pont, the oldest son of Henry du Pont."
Saltpeter refinery at Eleutherian Mills (Upper Yard)
Note by Macklem dated 1928 March 9: "In the background can be seen the residence of E.I. du Pont de Nemours, erected by him early in the last century and occupied by him as a home until the time of his death, after which his second son Henry du Pont lived here until his death in August 1889. The property now belongs to the estate of Col. Henry A. du Pont, the oldest son of Henry du Pont."
Coal car in Hagley Yard
Race-way track and new dam at lower end Hagley Yard, showing coal tar and upper race waste-way to the left.
Horse-drawn gunpowder wagon Deadwood, South Dakota
Man at left, on horseback, identified as Arthur Simpson (brother of W.S. Simpson, DuPont employee). Man at right with gun cradled in arms is identified as Robert Divinnell.