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 James Gamble, 1984 April 5 [audio] (part 1)
Gamble describes his house in Henry Clay in detail as well as his uncle's house, the layout of the villages along the Brandywine, various taverns in the community, his family history, and his education. He also recounts his childhood: swimming in the Brandywine, playing baseball and football and marbles, and sledding. He describes various explosions that he remembers.
Interview with James Gamble, 1984 April 5 [audio](part 2)
Gamble describes his house in Henry Clay in detail as well as his uncle's house, the layout of the villages along the Brandywine, various taverns in the community, his family history, and his education. He also recounts his childhood: swimming in the Brandywine, playing baseball and football and marbles, and sledding. He describes various explosions that he remembers.
Interview with James Gamble, 1981 April 24 [audio](part 1)
Gamble recounts various family members and their history. He also describes the layout of the yards, his childhood at Hagley, gardening and chores, his first job at Capo's Drugstore, and his education.
Interview with James Gamble, 1981 April 24 [audio](part 2)
Gamble recounts various family members and their history. He also describes the layout of the yards, his childhood at Hagley, gardening and chores, his first job at Capo's Drugstore, and his education.
Interview with Willard B. Crichton and Patsy Crichton, 1985 March 6 [audio](part 1)
Willard Crichton describes the state of the house after the move and the surrounding area in detail, as well as the changes made to it by the Crichton family. He also describes the surrounding area and the gardens. His interview details family history, the changes to the area following the opening of Hagley Museum, and briefly refers to a career with DuPont.
Interview with Willard B. Crichton and Patsy Crichton, 1985 March 6 [audio](part 2)
Willard Crichton describes the state of the house after the move and the surrounding area in detail, as well as the changes made to it by the Crichton family. He also describes the surrounding area and the gardens. His interview details family history, the changes to the area following the opening of Hagley Museum, and briefly refers to a career with DuPont.
Interview with Dr. Margaret Seitz, 1984 June 11 [audio]
Seitz describes her family's history working in the powder mills, her sisters' relationships with members of the du Pont family, her family's home, Christmas celebrations, and her father's childhood.
Interview with Willard B. Crichton and Patsy Crichton, 1985 March 6 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Willard and Patsy Crichton regarding Belin House and other buildings and structures on Hagley grounds. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with James Gamble, 1981 April 24 [transcript]
Interview with James Gamble who was a metal worker at the Experimental Station and lived along the Brandywine. The interview took place in Claymont, 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 Dr. Margaret Seitz, 1984 June 11 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Margaret Seitz who is a descendent of John and Catherine Gibbons. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.