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 James F. Toy Sr., 1971 September 4 [audio]
Toy describes his work on Mrs. Louise du Pont Crowninshield's staircase in detail, the restoration of the First Office, and Mrs. Crowninshield's decorating style. He also describes in detail his memories and work on Eleutherian Mills and Winterthur.
Interview with James F. Toy Sr., 1971 September 15 [audio]
Toy describes changes in restoration made to Eleutherian Mills, including the layout of the house, as well as the First Office. He also describes how A.I. du Pont built his wall around Nemours and his work on the sunken garden.
Interview Catherine C. Irving (Mrs. A. Duer Irving), 1974 February 21 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Catherine C. Irving recalling her memories of Louise du Pont Crowninshield. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Dennis Buckley, 1975 January 10 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Dennis Buckely recalling his youth growing up on the Brandywine. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Mary Hazzard Collins, 1974 March [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Mary Hazzard Collins who worked as a forelady and elevator operator for DuPont. 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.
Interview with Les Mathewson, undated and 1976 September 3 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Les Mathewson on stone quarrying.
Interview with Louise F. Poole, 1974 March 4 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Louise Poole whose husband Edward worked at the Experimental Station and recounts her own work volunteering as well as her family geneology. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
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 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 Willard S. Wilson, 1977 June 2 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Willard Wilson who worked in radio broadcasting in Wilmington.

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