General view of an unidentified employee inspecting control switches at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Hopewell, Virginia. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the control switches were explosion-proof, one of the safety features employed for plant operations in which inflammable solvents were used.
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. “Employee Inspecting Control Switches at Hercules Hopewell Plant,” 1940–1949. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 35. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/q524jp48w.
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