General view of weigh-tanks for caustic soda and ethyl cellulose at the Hercules Powder Company's Ethyl Cellulose plant in Hopewell, Virginia. Per notations accompanying the photograph, caustic soda and ethyl cellulose were pumped from storage into the tanks, which floated on scale-beams. The amounts of raw material required for a reaction were subsequently weighed out as they were pumped into the reaction vessel. The employee visible in the photograph is unidentified.
Formed in 1912 as part of an anti-trust settlement with DuPont, the Hercules Powder Company (later Hercules Inc.) initially specialized in the manufacture of explosives and smokeless powders and subsequently diversified its business to encompass a variety of industrial products, including pine and paper chemicals, synthetics, pigments, polymers, and cellulose.
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Hercules Incorporated. “Caustic Soda Weigh-Tanks at Hercules Hopewell Plant,” 1940–1949. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 35. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/2801pg98g.
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