Original U.S. WWII Hercules Dynamite Box with Inert Display Sticks - As Seen In Book

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This very set of dynamite and wood box is featured on pages 208-209 in the book U. S. Navy Uniforms in World War II Series: U. S. Naval Amphibious Forces, Volume 3 by Jeff Warner. In fact this pair was purchased by IMA from the estate of Mr. Warner along with much of his personal collection.

Hercules was one of the largest produces of explosives before and during World War II. This is an original box with reproduction inert sticks of dynamite.

A box of nitrostarch explosive (top) is shown with a prepared charge of four sticks of dynamite set with a match-lit fuse (bottom). When liquid nitroglycerin was discovered, it was so unstable and sensitive to jarring that it was almost impossible to use safely. The invention of Dynamite cured the instability problems of nitroglycerin by mixing three parts of it with one part diatomaceous earth and a small amount of sodium carbonate. As a result, dynamite will not explode from shock or impacts and is relatively safe to handle. Unfortunately, the nitroglycerin in sticks of dynamite will leak out over time making it potentially dangerous to store for long periods. Additionally, handling dynamite sticks with bare hands will allow trace amounts of nitroglycerin to absorb into the skin which causes painful headaches. For these reasons, TNT was usually favored over the use of dynamite. Nitrostarch explosives are very similar to dynamite except nitrostarch is mixed with diatomaceous earth rather than nitroglycerin. This eliminated the problems of headaches however, nitrostarch explosives are not as powerful as dynamite and could not be used near water or moisture. Still, both dynamite and nitrostarch were used in limited capacities during World War II. (J. Warner)
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