Interior view of a Hercules Powder Company linter pilot plant in Hopewell, Virginia, with view of a small digester and wash tubs. The pilot plant was likely designed as a facility for the removal of short fibers from cotton seeds during the production of so-called "chemical cotton," a type of purified cellulose obtained from raw cotton linters. The employee visible in the photograph is identified as F.C. Ponko.
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. “Linter Pilot Plant in Hopewell, Virginia,” March 1945. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 35. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/b5644s26f.
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