Skip to main content

Hercules Inc. personnel cards

1914-1990
 Collection
Identifier: 2134

Abstract

Hercules Inc. was a manufacturer of chemicals and munitions based in Wilmington, Delaware. The records consist of a sample of employee personnel records, or service record cards, that date from circa 1914 to 1933, as well as copies of the company pension and retirement savings plans that date from 1982 to 1990. The cards typically contain information on personal characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, age, physical appearance, and family, and also on occupation, wage rates, promotion, discipline, and reasons for discharge. The plants are scattered around the country and thus provide an interesting regional sample of the industrial workforce during the 1910s and 1920s. Pension and retirement savings plans are for both Hercules Incorporated and Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.

Dates

  • 1914-1990

Creator

Extent

3.25 Linear Feet

Historical Note

Hercules Inc. was a manufacturer of chemicals and munitions based in Wilmington, Delaware. The company was established in 1912 by T.W. Bacchus (1862-1944) as the Hercules Powder Company. The Hercules Powder Company was one of the companies created from the break-up of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours "powder trust" in 1911 as ruled by a U.S. Supreme Court decision. During its early years as a separate company, it continued to produce explosives and dynamite. Hercules gradually evolved into a diversified chemical company and was renamed Hercules Incorporated on April 29, 1966.

Scope and Contents

The records consist of a sample of employee personnel records, or service record cards, that date from circa 1914 to 1933, as well as copies of the company pension and retirement savings plans that date from 1982 to 1990.

The service record cards cover wage workers at the following Hercules plants: Bacchus, Utah; Bessemer, Alabama; Brunswick, Georgia; Columbus, Kansas; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Hercules, California; Hopewell, Virginia; Joplin, Missouri; Kenvil and Union (Parlin), New Jersey; Pluto, Michigan; Port Ewen, New York; Youngstown, Ohio; and the Wilmington, Delaware, Experimental Station. The cards cover the period from the beginning of the World War I expansion to the closure of plants and layoffs during the early years of the Depression. The cards typically contain information on personal characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, age, physical appearance, and family, and also on occupation, wage rates, promotion, discipline, and reasons for discharge.

The plants are scattered around the country and thus provide an interesting regional sample of the industrial workforce during the 1910s and 1920s. Most individuals are semi-skilled or unskilled workers, with a smaller number of machinists and other skilled trades. Almost all the workers are male, except that female workers were hired in relatively large numbers at the Port Ewen plant during the 1930s, presumably as a cost-saving measure. The workforce in the southern plants was a mixture of Caucasians and African Americans. Hispanic Americans are prominent at the Hercules plant near San Francisco, and immigrants from southern and Eastern Europe at the plants in New Jersey and New York. The cards show a number of family clusters and transfers between plants.

Pension and retirement savings plans are for both Hercules Incorporated and Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Litigators may not view the collection without approval.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

On Deposit from Hercules Incorporated.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Hercules Inc. personnel cards
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2020: Laurie Sather

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400