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 Ferdinand D. Bickel, 1969 June 12, 1969 June 25 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ferdinand D. Bickel who worked for DuPont's explosives department. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Joseph M. Campbell, 1957 August 15 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Joseph M. Campbell who worked for DuPont in the Hagley yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William T. Cloud [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Cloud who worked for DuPont in explosive work. The interview took place in Wilmington, 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 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 Benjamin F. Foster, 1964 February [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Benjamin Foster who worked for the Power Division of Engineering Department. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Joseph B. Kauss, 1969 July 11 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Joseph B. Kauss who recalled working for DuPont while driving around the powder yards. 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 John E. Miller, 1960 June 23 [transcript]
Transcript of interview wtih John E. Miller who worked for fifty years in DuPont's explosives department. The interview took place in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Interview with Theodore "Ted" Pennock, 1968 August 23 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ted Pennock who worked in the Hagley Machine Shop. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with John Peoples, 1957 June 13 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with John Peoples who who lived at the Keg Mill and worked in the Keg factory. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Robert E. Pyle Sr., 1958 October 27 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Robert Pyle who grew up in Wilmington and later worked for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Luther D. Reed [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Luther Reed who worked in sales, managerial, and personnel positions for DuPont and who was involved with forming the foundation at Hagley as well as its early development. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Richard F. Rowe, 1968 July 9 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Richard Rowe who grew up on the Brandywine and worked at Hodgson's Woolen Mill before moving on to work in carpentry. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Daniel F. Shields, 1958 March 19 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Daniel Shields who grew up on the Brandywine while his father worked in the charcoal building, and later on went onto work for DuPont as well, including on the company farm.