Oral histories on work and daily life in the Brandywine Valley

About this collection

A collection of approximately 200 interviews conducted between 1953 and 1990 with people who lived and worked in New Castle County, Delaware. The recollections of the subjects cover a period from about 1900 to 1960. While the majority of the interviews are with those who have a connection with the DuPont Company or du Pont family either as employees or inhabitants of the area surrounding the company's operation on the Brandywine River, the collection also includes interviews with those who worked in other industries in Delaware during this era such as Hodgson Woolen Mill, Lobdell Car Wheel Company, Hoopes Brother & Darlington, and Joseph Bancroft & Sons. In addition to documenting work and labor during this period, the interviewers delve deeply into the social and cultural lives of their subjects. Issues related to domesticity, gender, education, childhood, ethnicity, medicine, etc. are among the topics covered in the interviews. Also of note are interviews with a journalist (Fred Reybold) and an early broadcaster (Willard Wilson) who worked in Delaware.

    For more information about the collection, click here to view the finding aid.
    Image: Vance Mitchell during 1968 interview. Click to view.

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Interview with Edward L. Bader, 1956 November 23 [transcript]
Transcript of interview conducted with Edward L. Bader about his time working in the mills for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Mary Hazzard Collins, 1974 March [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Mary Hazzard Collins who worked as a forelady and elevator operator for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Katherine Collison, 1954 September, 1955 January [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Katherine Collison recalling life on the Brandywine while living in Belin House during the time her father was a bookeeper. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Philip Dougherty [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Philip Dougherty who worked in the Henry Clay Keg Factory. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William F. Flanigan [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Flanigan recalling life on the Brandywine and in the powder mills while his father was employed by DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Harry E. Lee, 1955 February 2 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Harry Lee who worked at the Experimental Station and lived for a time in the Upper Banks area. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William Frederick Lynch, 1956 October 5 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Frederick Lych who was employed in the powder yards and has many memories about life in the area. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Vance Mitchell with Joseph Dougherty, 1968 July 12 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Vance Mitchell who worked in the hauling business and was employed hauling powder for Hagley yard during World War I. The interview took place in New Castle, Delaware.
Interview with Ralph Beech Brown, 1981 April 28 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ralph Brown who worked in the Hagley Yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with James Dever [transcript]
Transcript of interview with James Dever who was employed at Hagley farm and as a hauler for the powder yards who lived on Wagoners Row and Squirrel Run.
Interview with Helen Edwards, 1984 March 8 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Helen Edwards who worked in the powder mills during World War I. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with James Gamble, 1984 April 5 [transcript]
Transcript of second interview with James Gamble who discusses life in Henry Clay Village. The interview took place in Claymont, Delaware.
Interview with Anthony W. Grieco, 1988 October 7 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Anthony Grieco who worked in the mills for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Reefa Hackendorn, 1989 July 12 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Reefa Hackendorn whose husband lived along the Brandywine and worked in the powder yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.