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 Edgar Dill Peoples, 1988 April 2 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Edgar Peoples who worked for DuPont and who lived in Squirrel Run in his youth while his father worked in the powder yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Arthur Sykes, 1984 March 8 [transcript]
Transcript of second interview with Arthur Sykes who lived across from the Hall of Records while his father worked as a machinist for DuPont and who later also went on to work for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.