History of Fireworks
The first use of fireworks is believed to be in China during the 7th century. Some say that a Chinese cook discovered that the mixture of sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal would explode if enclosed in a small space. The ancient Chinese used the fireworks to frighten away evil spirits as well as to celebrate happiness and prosperity.
However fireworks for celebrations and ceremonies was strictly for the rich and royal until after the 14th century when commoners began to use them for such events as weddings and New Years.
After time, the science of developing fireworks became a respected profession in ancient China. Fireworks masters were revered for their skill in creating dazzling displays of light and sound. Once they perfected this skill, they found that black powder could also be used as rocket fuel and they began making dragon-shaped rockets to use against invaders.
Eventually, explorers spread the knowledge of fireworks making through the west into Arabia where they were known as Chinese arrows. The first documented use of fireworks in Europe was around 1258. Soon after that, the gun was invented and European firemakers used the gunpowder for their military as well as for peace and victory celebrations. The Italians are credited with turning firework making into an art form by developing aerial shells that shot upward into a fountain.
Although modern fireworks are created much in the same was as they were hundreds of years ago. It was not until the 19th century that pyrotechnicians began to add elements to create the brilliant colors we have today.