General view of employee Andrew Roberts operating pulping equipment at a Hercules Powder Company pilot plant in Hopewell, Virginia. This pulping equipment was likely used to produce dissolving pulp, also known as dissolving cellulose, a bleached wood pulp or cotton linters with a high cellulose content. Dissolving pulp derives its name from the fact that, rather than being used to produce paper, it is typically dissolved in a solvent or homogeneous solution and subsequently can be used to create a range of products, including textile fibers, plastics, films, and thickening agents.
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. “Pulping Equipment in Use at Hercules Pilot Plant,” March 1945. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 35. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/9w032381p.
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