Close-up view of V.F. Kurowsky operating a flow measuring device used to identify and control the ratio of base material to plasticizer in cellulose molding compounds produced in the Plastics Laboratory at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Parlin, New Jersey. Per notations accompanying the photograph, Kurkowky is shown placing a pre-formed cylinder into the charge chamber prior to the application of heat and pressure. The Parlin plant commonly produced ethyl cellulose, nitrocellulose, and cellulose acetate, which were 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. “Flow Measuring Device in Use at Hercules Parlin Plant,” January 1949. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 2, Folder 25. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/br86b443v.
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