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Howard Potts oral history interview transcript

1975
 Collection
Accession: 2107

Abstract

Howard Potts (1900-1978) was a supervisor for the American Car and Foundry shipyard. In the oral history done by Hagley Museum curatorial staff with Potts, he comments on a series of photographs taken at the yard during the time he worked there and describes the process involved in wooden shipbuilding and sailmaking.

Dates

  • 1975

Creator

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Howard Potts (1900-1978) was a supervisor for the American Car and Foundry shipyard. He was born April 18, 1900, in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of a residential building contractor. A lifelong resident of the city, he went to work at the age of fourteen at the shipyard and car works of American Car & Foundry (formerly Jackson & Sharp). During the "ship famine" of World War I, Potts worked at the nearby steel shipbuilding yard of Pusey & Jones, but the bulk of his working life was spent in wooden shipbuilding.

In 1924, Potts married Sarah A. Miller (1900-1970). The couple had two children: Howard and Pauline.

Scope and Contents

The record consists of a typed transcript of a taped interview conducted with Howard Potts (1900-1978) on June 16, 1975, by Frank McKelvey (1943-) and Robert A. Howard (1943-2012) of the curatorial staff of the Hagley Museum. During the interview, Potts was asked to view and comment on a series of photos taken at the yard during the time that he worked there.

Potts's responses to the photos account for the bulk of the interview and constitute a fairly detailed description of the processes involved in wooden shipbuilding and sailmaking. Potts also describes his relationship with his father, working-class life in his Poplar Street neighborhood, his attendance at night school, and his passage through the company's apprenticeship program. The records include 35mm slide copies of the images are shown to Potts during the interview, the interviewers' notes, and a digest of a second, unrecorded interview of July 23, 1975.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by interviewee and heirs.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Howard Potts oral history interview transcript
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400