General view of boilermaker Hubbie H. Hattaway operating an acetylene cutting torch in the machine shop at the Hercules Powder Company plant located in Brunswick, Georgia. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the torch is being used to burn away metal on a floor support intended for use in the plant's Extractor Building. The machine shop commonly employed a range of machinists, carpenters, electricians, welders, boilermakers, and other skilled employees to assemble, maintain, and repair the plant's specialty equipment and infrastructure, including reactors, stills, autoclaves, and extractors.
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. “Acetylene Cutting Torch in Use at Hercules Brunswick Plant,” circa 1960. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 6. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/m613mz330.
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