General view looking down either side of a riffle trough at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Hopewell, Virginia. The trough may have been used to clean and catch particles during the production of so-called "chemical cotton," a type of purified cellulose obtained from raw cotton linters.
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. “Riffle Trough at Hercules Hopewell Plant,” March 1945. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 35. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/dn39x2035.
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