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 Eleanor Kane, 1984 February 21 [transcript]
Transcript of interview wtih Eleanor Kane who spent a lot of time visiting Free Park and whose mother grew up there. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Carl Wise, 1984 February 27 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Carl Wise who did not live or work in the Hagley area but does have reminisces of the area and daily life in Wilmington.
Interview with Edwin Zeuner, 1984 June 26 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Edwin Zeuner who lived in Wilmington but had a lot of acquaintances in the powder yards and whose father was a millwright for Dupont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.