Welcome to the fireworks section of DavidThePyro's pyrotechnics website.
Welcome to the fireworks general info page on DavidThePyro's pyrotechnics website.
Fireworks began thousands of years ago in China. Chinese alchemests were mixing potassium nitrate (KNO3) and sulfur over a fire. It dried into a powder that, when ignited, made a large flame and smoke. Someone had the idea of putting this mixture into a bamboo tube and throwing it on a fire, and the first firecracker was made. Firecrackers were used to scare away evil spirits. About 1000 - 1200 years ago, the formula for what is now known as black powder was set to 75% KNO3, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur by weight.
Black powder in a casing makes a good bomb, so that's what came next. The sound of the bombs scared the hell out of the enemy and caused them to flee. When the enemies finally got used to the sound, the bombs were used for just blowing them up.
Firecrackers were starting to use paper tubes and paper fuses with a trail of black powder inside, and this gave someone an idea. A firecracker with an open end will expel the gasses out that end instead of exploding. The result is a crude rocket. Soon afterwards, a guidance stick or fins were used to aim the rocket.
From rockets and firecrackers evolved all the types of fireworks we know and love today.