Fireworks are pretty cool, but how much do you actually know about them? Sure, you, probably know that they are made with a mixture of chemicals. You may also know they are from some other continent, even if you are not quite sure where. But, many may not know their history beyond simple facts. So, here are some cool historical facts that may go off in your mind like a firework. That way, during your next firework display, you can impress people with your newly found knowledge.
1. The Chinese Are the Inventors of Firecrackers
There are historical recordings that say the Chinese invented firecrackers around 200 B.C. The invention of these little devices was an accident, however. At this time, the Chinese were using dried bamboo stalks to write. These stalks were dried over hot coals to make it easier to write on and preserve the writing. However, they found that the longer the bamboo was over the heat, the more it began to expand. The bamboo would eventually get to a point where it could expand no longer, and would finally just explode, thus making the firecracker. But, they were not immediately used as a form of entertainment. Instead, the Chinese used them to scare off mountain men, and to the beliefs of some, evil spirits.
2. Fireworks Lead to Pyrotechnic Weaponry
This was just another surprising accident that the Chinese happened to stumble upon. This discovery, however, happened years after the invention of the firecracker, somewhere between 600 and 900 C.E. The discovery happened when Chinese alchemists somehow, accidentally, mixed potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal. The combination that would eventually become known as gunpowder, but was the called huo yao. This is when the firework as it is known today began to take shape; the Chinese made the mix part of their Celebrations. They would stuff the mix into bamboo stalks, and set off that way. It was not until 1046 that it was first reportedly used as a weapon, again, by the Chinese.
3. Italians Created the Shell and Color for Fireworks
Modern fireworks use what is known as an aerial shell, that resemble ice cream cones. These shells were developed during the 1830s by Italian pyrotechnicians. The aerial shell works by storing the fuel in the bottom of the cone while the chemicals used to create the color are stored In the top. The colors are another discovery attributed to the Italians, who found out that metallic powders could be used to create them.
4. Americans Have Used Fireworks Since 1777
It is known that fireworks were being used in American Independence Day celebrations as early as 1777. That year, Independence Day celebrations in Philadelphia included an array of festivities including a canon display, parade, dinner, music, and much more. To top it all off, there was the firework display, of 13 fireworks that lit up the night sky to wow and amaze the American people.
Are these not some impressive and surprising facts? Now you have some new and interesting facts to impart on friends and family when you tell them about your next planned firework display. They will be impressed with all your knowledge, and, of course, the show. Not sure where to buy your fireworks? Go to Uncle Sam’s Fireworks if you live near Indiana or are willing to make the drive for the great selection and prices.