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 Dennis Buckley, 1975 January 10 [audio]
Buckley's interview details his impressions of the du Pont family members, his job in the mailroom of the company, working for the Diamond Ice and Coal Company, and running a liquor store.
Interview with Margaret Headley, 1984 February 22 [audio](part 1)
Headley describes the trolley into Wilmington, her uncle's home in Henry Clay, the layout of Wagoner's Row, peeling willows, and her family life growing up in Wilmington.
Interview with Margaret Headley, 1984 February 22 [audio](part 2)
Headley describes the trolley into Wilmington, her uncle's home in Henry Clay, the layout of Wagoner's Row, peeling willows, and her family life growing up in Wilmington.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1981 January 29 [audio](part 1)
Cheney discusses various household items her home contained and how they have changed. She also discusses baking bread, an explosion that caused her family to move, making soap for laundry, healthcare, her family's relationship with the du Pont family, her education, and her growing up years along the Brandywine, including chores and entertainments.
Interview with Catherine Cheney [audio](part 4)
Cheney discusses various household items her home contained and how they have changed. She also discusses baking bread, an explosion that caused her family to move, making soap for laundry, healthcare, her family's relationship with the du Pont family, her education, and her growing up years along the Brandywine, including chores and entertainments.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1984 January 23 [audio]
Cheney discusses gardening in the community, the layout of the Brandywine villages, the chicken house, and fear of explosions. She describes her family's garden in detail, particularly various types of crops planted.
Interview with Catherine Cheney, 1987 February 3 [audio]
Cheney discusses details of her childhood in Free Park, including the family's canning traditions and chicken coop, how they made their clothing or shopped in Wilmington, parties and events at Hagley Community House, an explosion that injured her foot, and her education, and later teaching career, at Alexis I. du Pont School. Her interview details various Christmas traditions during her childhood, including how the tree was decorated, baking cookies and cakes, gift exchanges, the candy and orange that the children received from Henry Francis du Pont, and how homemade ornaments were created.
Interview with Bertha Gregg, 1989 March 17 [audio]
Gregg describes her duties at Hagley. Her interview describes her courtship and early years of marriage with her husband, Pete, a grocer; a flu epidemic that she suffered during a pregnancy; her family history; daily life in Wilmington; and holiday and special traditions.
Interview with Bertha Gregg, 1989 March 23 [audio]
Gregg describes her duties at Hagley. Her interview describes her courtship and early years of marriage with her husband, Pete, a grocer; a flu epidemic that she suffered during a pregnancy; her family history; daily life in Wilmington; and holiday and special traditions.
Interview with Edward L. Bader, 1956 November 23 [transcript]
Transcript of interview conducted with Edward L. Bader about his time working in the mills for DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Elizabeth Beacom, 1967 May 29 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Elizabeth Beacom about her time living in Squirrel Run while her father worked for the DuPont refinery. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Ann Hudson (Mrs. Joseph Hudson), 1968 August 1 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Ann Hudson recalling life on the Upper Banks while her father worked as a powder man at the Experimental Station. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William H. Buchanan, 1958 August 7 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William H. Buchanan recalling life on the Brandywine while his father worked for DuPont. 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 Edward B. Cheney, 1958 June 5, 13 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Edward Cheney who lived in Squirrel Run and whose father worked in the Hagley yards. 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 Katherine Collison, 1954 September, 1955 January [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Katherine Collison recalling life on the Brandywine while living in Belin House during the time her father was a bookeeper. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Philip Dougherty [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Philip Dougherty who worked in the Henry Clay Keg Factory. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William F. Flanigan [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Flanigan recalling life on the Brandywine and in the powder mills while his father was employed by DuPont. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Clement Hoopes, 1969 July 3 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Clement Hoopes whose father worked in the powder yards. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with John E. Krauss, 1958 May 14, 28 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with John E. Krauss who worked for the DuPont Personnel Department and who also lived in Squirrel Run while his father worked in the powder yards The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Harry E. Lee, 1955 February 2 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Harry Lee who worked at the Experimental Station and lived for a time in the Upper Banks area. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with William Frederick Lynch, 1956 October 5 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with William Frederick Lych who was employed in the powder yards and has many memories about life in the area. The interview took place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Interview with Vance Mitchell with Joseph Dougherty, 1968 July 12 [transcript]
Transcript of interview with Vance Mitchell who worked in the hauling business and was employed hauling powder for Hagley yard during World War I. The interview took place in New Castle, 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.

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