General view of an unidentified female employee using a pipette to transfer a solution into a laboratory apparatus at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Hopewell, Virginia. The Hopewell plant produced so-called "chemical cotton," a purified cellulose obtained from raw cotton linters, as well as ethyl cellulose commonly purchased by a variety of public and private industries as a raw material for use in plastics, films, lacquers, and other materials.
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. “Woman in Laboratory 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/6w924c64q.
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