** Dr.Logic [Sweat Box & Soap] WP 2000 3.1 **
The discovery of gunpowder and subsequent invention of fireworks is generally credited to the Chinese. Some evidence suggests that war rockets were made in China, as early as the 6th Century, and that the practice then spread to Arabia in the 7th Century, where these rockets were known as 'Chinese arrows'. A Chinese document dated around 1040 showed how to wrap gunpowder in paper to make a 'fire pill'. This small firecracker made a very loud bang, which was believed to scare off evil spirits. Almost any special event then became an occasion to use these noisemakers.
Fireworks made their way to Europe sometime in the 13th Century. While Crusaders and the Knights Templar most likely carried them back from the East, some believe gunpowder was discovered independently in Europe around this time. The popularity of fireworks grew, and by the early 1500s the military was lighting them for special events.
The Italians were the first Europeans to manufacture fireworks and were the undisputed masters through the 17th Century. Throughout Europe, Italian fireworks were used in religious festivals and other distinguished events to celebrate these occasions.
Over the course of time, fireworks have become a traditional way to memorialize distinguished as well as whimsical occasions across the planet. Events throughout the world are celebrated with fiery flowers and monumental reports1 in the sky. Examples of such events are Bonfire Night in England, 4 July Independence celebrations in America, and New Years festivities.
Rocket type: Rockets are actually powered by an internal engine. The rocket type of firework has more in common with a mortar shell than it does with a space rocket. These fly through the air when ignited. They sometimes carry parachutes, stars4, or big bangs when they reach the peak of their flight.
Roman candles: These long tubes shoot compact balls of chemicals from one end, creating a series of flaming stars. Inside the tubes, the chemical balls are packed one on top of the other, with layers of sawdust between them.
Fountains: These are cone-shaped and sit on the ground. A hole in the top allows gases to escape, shooting coloured sparks into the air.
Smoke bombs: They smoke a colourful smoke. That is all they do, so what more can one say about them?
Sparklers: These are long pieces of wire. Half of the length of the wire is covered in chemicals that give off bright sparkles of light when lit. The sparks burn off at 1650°F. Sparklers are credited with causing some of the most serious firework accidents.
Aerial shells: These are the kings of fireworks. The most spectacular visually, and usually the loudest. These are the ones the professionals use. These are launched the same way military mortar shells are launched. After placing the shell into a skyward facing tube, an external fuse is lit. The explosion of the lift charge inside the tube then launches the shell...