General view of an unidentified female employee inspecting a treating tub used to purify ethyl cellulose at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Hopewell, Virginia. The Hopewell plant commonly produced ethyl cellulose, which was purchased by a variety of public and private industries as a raw material for use in plastics, films, lacquers, and other materials. Notably, a safety shower apparatus is visible on the right-hand side of the photograph.
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. “Treating Tubs 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/xd07gt51k.
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