Close-up view of a tumbling shaker used in the Plastics Laboratory at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Parlin, New Jersey to dissolve plastic materials in solvents. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the resulting solution was used to evaluate the viscosity and hence the quality of molded pieces of plastic made from the raw materials produced at the plant. 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. “Tumbling Shaker 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/f7623d234.
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