Brandywine Valley oral history interviewees' photographs

About this collection

Hagley Museum staff conducted a series oral history interviews between 1954 and 1990, speaking primarily with individuals who had worked at the DuPont Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek during the yards’ final decades of operation or who had lived near the yards as spouses or children of DuPont Co. workers. Some of the individuals who were interviewed donated, lent for copying, or provided information on the photographs in this collection. The images primarily depict the worker communities which surrounded the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek or the powder yards themselves. For a detailed description of the entire collection, click here to view the finding aid.

    Click here to view and listen to the collection of Oral histories on work and daily life in the Brandywine Valley.
    Image: DuPont Co. workers enjoying a drink near the Club House at Thompson's Bridge. Click to view.

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Wooden keg mill (cooper shop) on Breck's Lane
Gentieu caption: "Factory where wood kegs are made. Man in center (Gailey Mathewson) has worked here for 50 years and is 77 years old and has only one lung, but seems good for many years yet." The following provided by F.L. Mathewson, grandson of Gilbert Mathewson, in 1966: Main Cooper Shop is building at far right, soaking pits were to right, off picture. Had slate roof and slate shingle siding. Pancake Run is in foreground, flowing under bridge to left. Left to right: Harry Carter (?); Gilbert Mathewson, boss of cooper shop; Frank Applegate; William Roe [Rowe?].
Employees in New Machine Shop at Hagley Yard
Identification by Edward L. Bader: Back row left to right: E.M. Taylor (Shop Superintendent), Ed Bader, and Fred Ivins. Front row left to right: William Waterbury, Duncan Thatcher.
Hagley workmen in saloon, possibly Robinson's saloon in Wilmington, Delaware
Left to right: Walker Mathewson, bartender Bill Hearn, Jeff Blakeley, and Les Robinson.
Powder workmen's farewell at Nemours, home of Alfred I. du Pont
The following people are identified: Ed Bader, machinist; Frank Haley, clerk; Tom Tulley, clerk; John Dougherty, clerk; Will Beatty, pattern maker; Seitz, foreman of woodwork shop; Bob Millin, tinsmith.
Powdermen's Outing
Front Row: Man with crutch - Pierre Gentieu, Next to him - Alfred I. du Pont (on Gentieu's left), Man kneeling on front row in straw hat - Mike Maloney (blacksmith). Last row, fourteenth from right, lower deck: Mr. Hoover (standing).
Alfred I. du Pont and DuPont Co. powder yard workers at company outing
From left (identification by donor): Mike Maloney, Peter Pursue, Sam Ferraro (seated, hand on walking stick), Victor Sauspin (thin face, large black hat, back of Ferraro), Harry Broden (derby, rear, right of Alfred I. du Pont), Felix Flanigan (behind Alfred I. du Pont), Tom Leach (next to Felix Flanigan), Pat Welsh (next to Leach), James Marten (right, front, straw hat, folded hands), Don Shields (left of Marten, white mustache, derby), Benny Watson (next to Shields), Gene Marten (second from right), Philip Dougherty (far right), Harry Muller (seated, far right), William Horty (next to Muller), and Alfred I. du Pont (center with knickers).
Foundry yard workers in the foundry yard behind the Machine Shop
Left to right: Billy Walters, foundry boss and pattern maker; unidentified laborer; Harry Dadds, molder.
Laboring gang in Hagley Yard
Left to right: Unidentified, Sam Ferraro, unidentified, Benjamin Griffiths, possibly Louis Boubell.
DuPont Co. employees, farm workers
Left to right: William Snyder, Robert Betty, William G. Betty. South side of Eleutherian Mills Barn.
William G. Betty with dog, "Baby"
In Upper Yard on current site of Hagley Library.
William Grimshaw Betty and Mrs. Betty
House at Hunter's Corner at intersection of Buck Road and Route 100.
DuPont Co. employees
Possibly taken at Hagley Yard or Wilmington Shops. Men in photograph include: Bill McCandless, Dan Dougherty, Bill Stewart, Johnny Deighan, Edgar Schaefer, Jean Martin, Tom Seery, Charlie Downey, Ned Davis, Michael Bonner, Charles Taylor, and Johnson Stillwell.