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 Martin Dillon, 1969 July 28 [audio](part 1)
Dillon describes in detail the process of hauling willows, including cutting them down, peeling them, tools and techniques used, and caring for the horses. He also describes farm life at the turn of the century, including the business aspect of farming.
Interview with Martin Dillon, 1969 July 28 [audio](part 2)
Dillon describes in detail the process of hauling willows, including cutting them down, peeling them, tools and techniques used, and caring for the horses. He also describes farm life at the turn of the century, including the business aspect of farming.
Interview with Bruce Green, 1974 March 28 [audio]
Green details his various jobs for DuPont, including tearing down old buildings in the 1930s and 1940s, hauling sand and stone to the family estates, working as a receiving clerk at Hagley Yard, and helping his father find horses with which to furnish the powder company. He also describes his impressions of various members of the du Pont family, particularly T. Coleman du Pont and his wife and children. He also describes T. Coleman's plans for DuPont Highway
Interview with Martin Dillon, 1969 July 28 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Martin Dillon who assisted his father with willow hauling for DuPont and had a farm in Avondale, Pennsylvania. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Bruce Green, 1974 March 28 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Bruce Green, whose father worked for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.