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 Luther D. Reed [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Luther Reed who worked in sales, managerial, and personnel positions for DuPont and who was involved with forming the foundation at Hagley as well as its early development. The interview took place in Wilmington, 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 Richard F. Rowe, 1968 July 9 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Richard Rowe who grew up on the Brandywine and worked at Hodgson's Woolen Mill before moving on to work in carpentry. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Daniel F. Shields, 1958 March 19 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Daniel Shields who grew up on the Brandywine while his father worked in the charcoal building, and later on went onto work for DuPont as well, including on the company farm.
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 Frank T. Stirlith, 1960 January 12, 1960 January 14 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Frank Stirlith who was a long time Wilmington resident and businessman who came into contact with members of the du Pont family. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Daniel Toomey, 1969 August 7 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Daniel Toomey who grew up along the Brandywine and whose father was killed in a powder explosion. The interview took place in Stanton, 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 Martin Luther Valentine, 1974 January [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Martin L. Valentine, a DuPont employee of 47 years in explosives. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Clarence L. Walker, 1956 October 26 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Clarence Walker who has recollections of Annie Oakley, traphsooting, and du Pont men. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Willard S. Wilson, 1977 June 2 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Willard Wilson who worked in radio broadcasting in Wilmington.
Interview with Walter Aurand, 1981 May 14 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Walter Aurand who worked for DuPont in the Experimental Station as a chemist.
Interview with Ralph Beech Brown, 1981 April 28 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ralph Brown who worked in the Hagley Yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with James Cammock, 1984 April 9 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with James Cammock who lived on Brecks Lane and whose father worked for Hagley and was killed in an explosion. The interview took place in Elsmere, Delaware.
Interview with James Cammock, 1984 July 24 [transcript]
Transcript of third interview with James Cammock. The interview took place in Elsmere, Delaware.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1984 February 15 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Catherine Cheney who lived in Free Park and discusses gardening there. The interview took place in New Castle, Delaware.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1984 March 26 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Catherine Cheney who lived in Free Park and continues a discussion on workers' gardens. The interview took place in New Castle, Delaware.
Interview with James Dever [transcript]
Transcript of interview with James Dever who was employed at Hagley farm and as a hauler for the powder yards who lived on Wagoners Row and Squirrel Run.
Interview with Alfred Dougherty, 1984 June 29 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Alfred Dougherty whose father was a leather manufacturer in the yards and whose grandfather was a powderman. The interview took place in Greenville, Delaware.
Interview with Thomas Dunlop, 1985 April 19 [transcript]
Transcript of third interview with Thomas Dunlop who continues to discuss life on the Brandywine. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Helen Edwards, 1984 March 8 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Helen Edwards who worked in the powder mills during World War I. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Helen Edwards, 1986 April 16 [transcript]
Transcript of second interview with Helen Edwards who worked in the powder mills. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Albert Rider "Slick" Ely, 1988 September 24 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Albert Rider Ely who discusses gun powder testing devices. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Ella Fitzharris, 1980 May 5 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ella Fitzharris who recounts life on the Brandywine while her father worked at the powder mill and Experimental Station. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Ella Fitzharris, 1985 August 8 [transcript]
Transcript of third interview with Ella Fitzharris who recounts domestic and social life on the Brandywine. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.

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