For sale is an amazing vintage AMERICAN CYANAMID COMPANY EXPLOSIVES CRATE from American Cyanamid Co, Explosives Department, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY. This vintage crate would have been used to ship 50 pounds of “ditching dynamite” for construction or mining operations. The interior oak wood shelf and back panel are not original to the crate. One short side of the crate features a brilliant graphic of the company logo. The two long sides read: “American Cyanamid Company – Explosives Department – 30 Rockefeller Plaza – New York 20, NY – I.C.C. 4-65 – High Explosives-Dangerous”. This explosives crate with dovetailed corners is in excellent condition. This advertising crate measures about 18 inches tall, 12 1/4 inches wide and 8 inches deep. A suitable size to place on on top of a sideboard to display collectibles, or to store DVDs or video games. The crate is also large enough to place on the floor as a small end table. A top notch explosives advertising crate.
In 1907, Frank Washburn, a civil engineer, founded the American Cyanamid Company. Cyanamid is a compound of lime, carbide, and nitrogen that is suitable for use in fertilizer. The first Cyanamid facility was built in Ontario, Canada, with its power supplied by the Niagara Falls. In 1922, the company sold two principal raw materials: calcium cyanamid and phosphate rock. While the economic aftermath of World War I reduced the demand for fertilizers, the war increased the demand for cyanide. At the time, cyanide was principally used in the extraction of gold and silver from their ores. As a result, American Cyanamid began to manufacture cyanide to supply mining companies with this necessary chemical. By 1929, the company had a total of 30 subsidiaries and was one of the most diversified companies in the chemical industry. The crate for sale probably dates to the 1930s.
Dynamite was the first of the “high explosives”, invented beginning in the late 1860s, that literally powered the latter half of the Industrial Revolution. In the years before abundant petroleum, high explosives were the first magical source of chemical energy harnessed for work. California’s mines and railroads could not have been built without strong, efficient dynamite. Ditching dynamite is 50% nitroglycerin. This explosive is unstable and sensitive enough so that the explosion of one hole will propagate to another hole by hydraulic shock. This allows a ditch to be created by only priming one hole in the ditch.