General view of safety inspector John Cloer at work in the foam house at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Brunswick, Georgia, with view of assorted fire-fighting and fire-suppression apparatus. One of two Hercules plants specializing in naval stores, the Brunswick plant extracted rosin, turpentine, and pine oil from pine tree stumps in order to produce a range of chemicals used in the manufacture of varnishes, paints, adhesives, insecticides, textiles, and other industrial products. Per notations accompanying the photograph, the plant boasted an elaborate and highly-developed automatic fire-fighting system as protection against the highly inflammable materials manufactured at the facility.
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. “John Cloer at Work in Foam House Facility 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/vx021f93v.
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