Site of Technical Innovation

Anticipating World War One, the military placed large orders with Hercules Powder for the newly invented trinitrotoluene (“TNT”) explosive. By 1918, Hercules Works was the largest TNT plant in America, with three thousand workers and nine TNT lines producing seven million pounds per month, or one-third of all the TNT used by the United States in the Great War. 

By 1881 the first acid plants were feeding nitroglycerine production lines. In less than twenty years, under the direction of Captain William Russell Quinan, the Hercules plant would become the largest in the world, producing more than half the dynamite made on the West Coast.