Hercules Powder Company

formed in 1882
Santa Cruz, California
Wilmington, Delaware

  • 1874 special formulation of dynamite was patented
    – by J.W. Willard
    – superintendent of the California Powder Works
    – “Hercules powder”
  • 1877 California Powder Works manufacturers Hercules powder
  • 1877 J.W. Willard moved to Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1882 – 1904 Hercules Powder Company
    – California Powder Works & DuPont and Laflin & Rand Powder Company
  • 1890  first smokeless powder manufactured in the United States
  • 1897 Sharpshooter
    – a flake powder
    – introduced by Laflin & Rand
    –  to replace black powder in .45-70
  • 1898 Bullseye
    – introduced by Laflin & Rand
    –  rapid combustion in short-barreled handguns
  • 1900 Unique 
    – introduced by Laflin & Rand
    – designed for shotguns
    – can be used in handguns
  • 1911  Sherman Antitrust Act ordered a breakup of the explosives and gunpowder manufacturing
    – Atlas Powder Company = explosives manufacturing
    – Hercules Powder Company = gunpowder
  • 1912 incorporated as the Hercules Powder Company
    – following the breakup of the Du Pont explosives monopoly
  • major producers of smokeless powder
  • 1932 Red Dot
    – for light and standard shotgun loads (12, 16, and 20 g )
    – can be used in handguns
  •  1940, the Kenvil, New Jersey plant explosion
    – twenty-five tons of explosives
  • 1965 Green Dot
    – for medium & standard shotgun loads (12, 16, and 20 g )
    – can be used in handguns
  • 1966 changed name to Hercules, Inc
  • 1972 Blue Dot
    – for magnum shotgun loads (10, 12, 16 g )
    – can be used in magnum handguns
  • 1995 sold to Alliant Techsystems Inc (ATK)
    –  “Bullseye”, “2400”, “Reloder”, “Unique”, and “Red Dot”
    – Radford, Virginia.
  • 2008 sold to the Ashland Corporation and dissolved.

 

 

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