An oral history project initiated to provide supplementary material for Hagley’s 2015 exhibit, 'Driving Desire', that features items from the Z. Taylor Vinson Transportation Collection. The three interviewees, Rick Shnitzler, Fred Simeone, and Yann Saunders, all were personal acquaintances of Z. Taylor Vinson as well as highly involved in either collecting or dealing auto ephemera and/or automobiles.
This collection includes a compilation of oral histories that have been digitized and are available online. This is not a comprehensive collection of all oral history content at Hagley. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Oral histories on work and daily life in the Brandywine Valley
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. Image: Vance Mitchell during 1968 interview.
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
The Textile Fibers Department of the DuPont Company, established in 1936 as the Rayon Department, specialized in researching and developing synthetic fibers for fabrics such as Rayon, Nylon, Teflon, Corian, and Kevlar. Former DuPont Company employee Joe Plasky interviewed individuals who worked in all sectors of the business, from research and engineering to marketing, during the period from approximately 1950 to 2000. The development of new materials, products, and processes; construction of new plants; changes in marketing and personnel systems; and the introduction of computer systems are among the topics covered in the interviews.
Otis Elevator Company installation of electric lifts for the London Underground photographs
The Otis Elevator Company manufactures, installs and maintains elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Elisha Otis (1811-1861) founded the company in 1853 in New York. In 1862, the company began selling elevators internationally, starting in Canada, then expanding to Mexico and Europe as early as 1873. Sales offices were established in London in 1884. The London Underground Railroad purchased 140 electric elevators from the company and had them installed between 1905 and 1907. The album contains images of elevators and elevator equipment being installed at subway stations in London. Most of the images show the equipment used to raise, lower and brake the elevator, often already installed at the top of the elevator shaft or in a machine room. Other images feature workers installing or inspecting this equipment. Some photographs feature the completed elevator entrances' in the stations or images of Otis Elevator Company employees.