News and Notes

June 12, 2012

New Chemical Industry Collections at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation acquired 50 linear feet of Hercules records from Ashland, Inc. in March 2012.  The Hercules Powder Company was formed in 1882 by DuPont and the Laflin & Rand Powder Company.  It was reorganized in 1912 and spun-off from DuPont as a result of a Federal Court decree which ordered DuPont to divest its interests in the explosives industry due to violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.  The Wilmington based company was acquired by Ashland Inc. in 2008.

Examples of items in the collection include:

  1. Minute Book – Hercules Hospital Association: 1908-1946
    • The Hospital Association provided medical services to employees of the Hercules Works who subscribed to the Association and were in good standing.  The by-laws stated “in no event shall any cases be treated which are venereal or the result of intemperance, vicious habits, or which may have been contracted before entering the Association.” Injuries suffered in the performance of an employee’s regular duties were also excluded from coverage.
  2. Handwritten notes on TNT Manufacture and Flow Sheet of Parlin HNO3 Line.
  3. Formula Book of Hercules Products: 1940
  4. Bound Volume of Hercules Advertisements from 1943.
    • Includes, Plastics, Explosives, Cellulose Products, Naval Stores, Paper Making, and Synthetics.
  5. B&W Photographs
    • New laboratory, 1931
    • Experiment Station Office, 1931
    • Experiment Station Staff, 1935
    • Hercules Parking Lot (snow covered), 1934
  6. Twelve 4.5 x 3.5 color photographs of Hercules employees setting and blasting explosives at the Panama Canal.
  7. Printing Plate, used to print Wooden Dynamite Boxes
  8. Cut out of a side panel – Hercules Powder Box
  9. Hercules Emblem

CHF has also acquired a nearly complete run of the U.S. Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT) reports on WW2 German chemical technology and industry from a dealer in the UK. CHF added 199 reports to the 10 they had in the collection previously and now have a more substantial set of FIAT chemical reports than the Library of Congress and the Center for Research Libraries. The reports are being cataloged at the item level in the Othmer Library OPAC and the latest list can be obtained by searching for the Author:
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Field Information Agency, Technical.

Dr. Ruth Patrick, collecting from a stream. Image courtesy of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.