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 Catherine Cheney, 1964 April 3 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Catherine Cheney who lived in Free Park and whose grandfather and father were guards at Hagley mills. The interview took place in New Castle, Delaware.
Interview with John A. Dougherty, 1956 October 19 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with John Dougherty who worked as a DuPont powder employee. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Harvey L. Fell, 1968 June 10, 1968 June 17 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Harvey Fell who worked for DuPont, including work on the company farm. 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 Samuel Hackendorn, 1958 July 24 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Samuel Hackendorn who lived in Charles Banks, Squirrel Run, and Free Park while his father worked in the Hagley Yard grinding mill. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.