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 Faith Betty Lattomus, 1984 April 19 [audio](part 1)
Lattomus describes the layout and communities of the various villages along the Brandywine, her house in Wagoner's Row, chores and daily routines, transportation, and entertainments and parties. She also describes her involvement at Christ Church and teaching Sunday school there.
Interview with Faith Betty Lattomus, 1984 April 4 [audio](part 2)
Lattomus describes the layout and communities of the various villages along the Brandywine, her house in Wagoner's Row, chores and daily routines, transportation, and entertainments and parties. She also describes her involvement at Christ Church and teaching Sunday school there.
Interview with Katherine Kindbeiter Hazzard, 1984 March 21 [audio](part 1)
Hazzard describes her childhood, including the house in which she grew up, daily chores, activities and amusements, and her impressions of various du Pont family members. She also discusses her education, various anecdotes about her father and mother, and the candy store her father opened after her lost his legs working for the railroad. She also recounts going into Wilmington for shopping and Christmas traditions.
Interview with Katherine Kindbeiter Hazzard, 1984 March 21 [audio](part 2)
Hazzard describes her childhood, including the house in which she grew up, daily chores, activities and amusements, and her impressions of various du Pont family members. She also discusses her education, various anecdotes about her father and mother, and the candy store her father opened after her lost his legs working for the railroad. She also recounts going into Wilmington for shopping and Christmas traditions.
Interview with Margaret Headley, 1984 February 22 [audio](part 1)
Headley describes the trolley into Wilmington, her uncle's home in Henry Clay, the layout of Wagoner's Row, peeling willows, and her family life growing up in Wilmington.
Interview with Margaret Headley, 1984 February 22 [audio](part 2)
Headley describes the trolley into Wilmington, her uncle's home in Henry Clay, the layout of Wagoner's Row, peeling willows, and her family life growing up in Wilmington.
Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1987 April 4 [audio]
Hayward describes Christmas traditions along the Brandywine, including decorations, foods prepared, and gifts received. She also describes family life during her early childhood, including daily life, clothing, and her doll collection.
Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1989 January 18 [audio]
Hayward discusses laundry day growing up, medical care, trips into the city, and her impressions of the du Pont family.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1981 January 29 [audio](part 1)
Cheney discusses various household items her home contained and how they have changed. She also discusses baking bread, an explosion that caused her family to move, making soap for laundry, healthcare, her family's relationship with the du Pont family, her education, and her growing up years along the Brandywine, including chores and entertainments.
Interview with Catherine Cheney [audio](part 4)
Cheney discusses various household items her home contained and how they have changed. She also discusses baking bread, an explosion that caused her family to move, making soap for laundry, healthcare, her family's relationship with the du Pont family, her education, and her growing up years along the Brandywine, including chores and entertainments.
Interview with Mary Braden Jackson, 1989 January 19 [audio]
Jackson's fifth and final interview details the laundry process, how her mother made clothes, and her relationship with her stepmother.
Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1987 April 21 [transcript]
Transcript of fourth interview with Ethel Hayward who continues to recall her childhood along the Brandywine. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1989 January 18 [transcript]
Transcript of fifth interview with Ethel Hayward who recalls home life along the Brandywine in her youth. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Katherine Kindbeiter Hazzard, 1984 March 21 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Katherine Hazzard who grew up in Walkers Banks. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Margaret Headley, 1984 February 22 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Margaret Headley who grew up near Hagley and had a number of relatives who were employed there.
Interview with Mary Braden Jackson, 1989 January 19 [transcript]
Transcript of fifth and final interview with Mary Jackson who remembers details about her youth along the Brandywine. The interview took place in Newark, Delaware.
Interview with Faith Betty Lattomus, 1984 April 19 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Faith Lattomus who lived on the Upper Banks as well as Wagoners Row. The interview took place in Montchanin, Delaware.