General view of employee Ed Reis guiding plastic insulated wire from spool rack to cutting board during the manufacture of electric blasting caps at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Port Ewen, New York. Prior to cutting, copper, enamel, and iron wire were insulated with different colored plastics for purposes of identification and visibility and, as visible into the photograph, wound onto spools.
Formed in 1912 as part of an anti-trust settlement with DuPont, the Hercules Powder Company (later Hercules Inc.) specialized in the manufacture of explosives and smokeless powders. The company's Port Ewen plant produced a range of special detonators designed for military use, as well as construction jobs that required blasts of dynamite, such as the clearing of quarries, mines, and tunnels.
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Hercules Incorporated. “Wire-Cutting Spool Rack at Hercules Port Ewen Plant,” 1954. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 2, Folder 37. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/s4655h124.
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