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TNT

Men with Masks, Boxes of the High Explosive TNT. 04 November, 1943.

Men with Masks, Boxes of the High Explosive TNT. 04 November, 1943.
Cornhusker Ordnance Plant.
Office of the Chief of Ordnance.
National Archives and Records Administration.
National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri.

TNT, or trinitrotoluene, is the most important military explosive. TNT was discovered in 1863 as a dye agent. It was not used as an explosive until 1904. It became popular as a military explosive during World War I. It became the "standard" military explosive by World War II. The power of other explosives is frequently expressed as an equivalent amount of TNT. It can be cast easily by melting the material and then it can be poured into shells. It is very stable and can be stored for long periods. It is extremely moisture resistant and is not likely to be detonated by physical shock.

Bethlehem Steel Company, Bethlehem, PA. Shell receiving and inspection department, 3-inch high explosive shells loaded with TNT. 24 September, 1918.

Bethlehem Steel Company, Bethlehem, PA. Shell receiving and inspection department, 3-inch high explosive shells loaded with TNT. 24 September, 1918.
US Army Materiel Command.
National Archives and Records Administration.
Still Picture Branch; College Park, Maryland.