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The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals IndustryWar and Politics, 1910-1930$
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Kathryn Steen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469612904

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469612904.001.0001

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/ Mobilization

Synthetic Organic Chemicals in War, 1914–1918

(p.78) 3 / Mobilization
The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals Industry

Kathryn Steen

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the production of synthetic organic high explosives in the United States during World War I and compares it to the production of synthetic organic war gases. More specifically, it explores how the nature of the two groups of chemicals, and the varying levels of American expertise in each, shaped mobilization efforts during the conflict. It considers how war chemicals contributed to the long-term establishment of the U.S. synthetic organic chemicals industry, both technologically and politically. The chapter also assesses the political benefits to the industry accrued from America's increased hostility to Germany once it entered the war, with particular reference to the promotion of the industry as necessary to the national defense.

Keywords:   explosives, United States, World War I, war gases, mobilization, synthetic organic chemicals industry, Germany, national defense, war chemicals, synthetic organic chemicals

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