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Letter from Linus Pauling to Robert W. Cairns. September 3, 1942.
Pauling writes to request information from Cairns concerning the characteristics of nitrocellulose propellants developed in
recent years by the Hercules Powder Company.
September 3, 1942
Dr. R.W. Cairns
Hercules Powder Company
Dear Dr. Cairns:
At the meeting of our Ad Hoc Committee in Washington on August 28, you and Mr. Alexander made some statements about developmental
work which the Hercules Powder Company have done during the past few years on propellants with a nitrocellulose or a nitrocellulose-nitroglycerine
binder and solid explosive fillers, primarily for use in small arms. I should be very glad to have, for the consideration
for the Committee, a statement from you about this work. This statement should be as explicit as you can make it, with respect
to the nature of the solid explosives which were tried, and to the characteristics of the propellants and the nature of the
tests which were made on them. The information would be useful to the Committee in connection with the question of whether
or not work along these lines should be continued, especially for the development of a propellant for use in hyper-velocity
guns of larger calibers.
I should be pleased if it were possible for me to see a copy of this report a day or so before the meeting of the Committee
on September 12. I shall be at 4800 Forbes Street, Pittsburgh, until September 8, and thereafter at 1530 P Street, Washington.
CC: Mr. H.B. Alexander
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