Industrial Revolution in California!
Dynamite transformed the explosives industry — and made our modern industrial world possible. In the San Francisco Bay Area, bold, ruthless and visionary men called forth one of the earliest recognizably modern industries.
The history of explosives manufacturing in Hercules began in 1879, when the California Powder Works acquired a site on San Pablo Bay, 20 miles northeast of San Francisco. The powder works, subsequently owned by Dupont and the Hercules Powder Company, produced one of the first internationally branded products: Hercules dynamite. It became the world’s leading producer of TNT during World War I. The town of Hercules was incorporated in 1900, and for nearly 75 years, its population remained under 300. The company-owned village had no retail district, but its employee clubhouse was the anchor for the city’s social life. After the explosives plant closed, buildings comprising a small historic district were restored, while a diverse residential suburb grew rapidly around it.
This first history of Hercules, California describes the earliest story of technological and industrial innovation that assured California’s place on the global stage. With over two hundred photographs, visit the places and meet the people who lived — and sometimes died — in an often-overlooked industry, fundamental to every aspect of our lives today.
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The Pinole Historical Society has gathered images of a city that once was-and a city that still is-thriving and looking to the future, while intent on preserving its past. Images of America: Pinole pays tribute to many of the prominent families of Pinole’s history-including Martinez, Fernandez, Tennent, Downer, and Faria-with photos donated by many of their descendants and other longtime Pinole residents. Pinole’s rich commercial and farming history is chronicled with numerous photos from the turn of the 20th century through 2009, recalling buildings, people, and events that still live in the hearts of the city’s modern-day residents. Available directly through the Pinole Historical Society via order form.