General view of employee Felix Nakielny removing a toilet seat cover from the dimension stability test cabinet used in the Plastics Laboratory at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Parlin, New Jersey. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the cabinet was used to test the resistance of plastics in temperatures ranging from 77 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidities (RH) ranging from dry air to 100% RH. 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. “Dimensional Stability Test Cabinet at Hercules Parlin Plant,” January 1949. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 2, Folder 26. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/qn59q4627.
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