General view of an unidentified male employee polishing a curved panel of Plexiglas designed for use on the nose of an aircraft attack bomber. Several finished panels are visible in the background. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the polishing and buffing of the panels was the final step in the production of the bomber noses. This photograph was likely taken at the Rohm and Haas Company plant located in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
The Rohm and Haas Company was founded in 1907 in Esslingen, Germany through the partnership of German chemist Otto Röhm and German businessman Otto Haas. In 1933, Röhm's experiments with the polymerization of methyl methacrylate led to the creation of a clear, solid plastic sheet, which he trademarked Plexiglas. During World War II, the demand for Plexiglas, which both Allied and Axis forces used for submarine periscopes and aircraft windshields, canopies, and gun turrets, helped transform Rohm and Haas into a major chemical firm.
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Rohm and Haas Company. “Man Polishing Plexiglas at Rohm and Haas Facility,” 1940–1949. Rohm & Haas Company Archives, Box 18 (Photographs), Folder 12. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/0v838153k.
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