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 Pierre Ferraro and Eugene Ferraro, 1955 June 13 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with brothers Pierre and Eugene Ferraro who both worked for DuPont and lived at Walkers Bank. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Clarence A. Fahs [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Clarence A. Fahs who was a machinist for DuPont. 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 Joseph A. Haley, 1955 February 23 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Joseph Haley who worked at Hagley's 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 Joseph H. Martin, 1956 November 8-9 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Joseph Martin who has many memories of members of the du Pont family, as well as area politics. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with F.L. (Les) Mathewson, 1968 July 3 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Les Mathewson who grew up on the Brandywine and later on worked for DuPont. The interview took place in Montchanin, Delaware.
Interview with Frederick K. Reybold, 1968 August 8 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Frederick Reybold who was a newspaper reporter who often came into contact with du Pont family members and covered activity in the company. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Edwin G. Smyth, 1974 January 29 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Edwin Smyth who did contract work on Hagley homes and whose father worked for Hagley in the powder yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with James F. Toy Sr., 1964 April 20 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with James Toy who worked for DuPont including work on homes for members of the du Pont family. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William Henry Miller, 1984 February 16 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Miller in which he reads from an interview with Alfred I. du Pont about the Miller family. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.