Close-up view of a plastic extrusion machine used to coat and insulate wires at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Port Ewen, New York. As visible in the photograph, ethyl cellulose was heated and then extruded as flakes to coat and insulate wires used in the electric blasting caps produced at the plant.
Formed in 1912 as part of an anti-trust settlement with DuPont, the Hercules Powder Company (later Hercules Inc.) specialized in the manufacture of explosives and smokeless powders. The company's Port Ewen plant produced a range of special detonators designed for military use, as well as construction jobs that required blasts of dynamite, such as the clearing of quarries, mines, and tunnels.
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Hercules Incorporated. “Plastic Extrusion Machine at Hercules Port Ewen Plant,” 1954. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 2, Folder 37. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/5138jf45f.
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