Howard Potts oral history interview transcript1975
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.
- Potts, Howard B., Sr., 1900-1978 (Interviewee, Person)
- Howard, Robert, 1943-2012 (staff) (Interviewer, Person)
0.25 Linear Feet
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.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
Literary rights retained by interviewee and heirs.
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Howard Potts oral history interview transcript
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- 2021: Ashley Williams