General view of Timothy R. Curley operating a lift truck to move bales of cotton linters at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Hopewell, Virginia. At the Hopewell plant, raw cotton linters (short fiber residues left on the cottonseed after the longer staple, aka the "lint" fibers, are removed by ginning) were used to produce so-called "chemical cotton," which is commonly used for the manufacture of cellulose ethers.
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. “Timothy R. Curley Operating Lift Truck at Hercules Hopewell Plant,” 1951. Photographs from the Records & Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, Box 1, Folder 36. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/zg64tm64h.
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