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 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 Franklin W. Bradway, 1958 February [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Franklin W. Bradway recalling his time workig for DuPont as a chemist. 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 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 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.
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 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 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.