In today’s era, fireworks symbolize celebration in all parts of the world. It’s a universal symbol of celebration. Many people neglect to think about the history of fireworks and how they came to be, when in fact they have a very interesting history. In this blog post, we will discuss a brief history of fireworks from the perspective of the best firework display company in Atlanta, GA.
Let’s get started.
The first fireworks came from quite humble sources and were more of a pop rather than what we are used to today with all the varying shapes, sounds, colors, and how high they go in the sky. Around 200 B.C., it is believed that China accidentally invented fireworks by throwing bamboo into fire. It’s said that China was the first nation to create fireworks but many historians argue that the Middle East or India is the birthplace.
What we know for certain is that around 800 A.D., Chinese alchemists were able to mix together various chemicals like sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal along with their crude version of gunpowder. These alchemists weren’t trying to create fireworks, they were actually aiming to create a recipe for eternal life.
Regardless they were still able to change the world. Once they invented fireworks, they continued to use them, believing that the explosions would keep away evil spirits.
What Did They Look Like?
The Chinese would pack their gunpowder into shoots made out of bamboo before throwing the shoots into a fire. This created a loud blast. From this point, the process began to evolve and improve, becoming more refined. For example, instead of bamboo stalks, paper tubes were used. Also, rather than throwing these tubes into fires, makeshift fuses were made using a form of tissue paper.
An Unexpected Use
What few people know is that fireworks had a use in war after the Chinese discovered their potential for this in the 10th century. They used the fireworks as bombs, attaching them to the end of their arrows that were shot at their enemies. In the 12th century, they had evolved enough to be used in rockets that were shot at enemies without the use of arrows even being necessary.
The Spread of Gunpowder
In 1925, fireworks were transported from Europe into Asia by Marco Polo and his associates. The Smithsonian Institute has argued that it is possible that Europeans were introduced to gunpowder weaponry a few years prior during the Crusades. Around the 13th century, recipes used to create gunpowder found their way into Arabia and Europe through various sources. After that, the West was able to come up with advanced technology used for warfare, such as muskets and cannons.
Regardless of the power that comes from gunpowder weaponry, people in the West particularly just loved fireworks and the whole idea behind them. Jesters were known for entertaining crowds with fireworks in England during medieval times along with rulers using them. Here’s a fun fact. The first royal fireworks display is believed to have happened in 1486 on Henry VII’s wedding day.
Learning the Art
Since the use of fireworks came to be a refined practice, pyrotechnic schools began popping up in Europe, where students were properly taught and trained on how to create the dazzling explosions. In the 1800s, Italy was particularly known for the popularity that they had with fireworks. It was around this time that discoveries were made on how to incorporate different colors into fireworks. Before this, all fireworks were orange. Italians received praise for this. They used sodium for yellow, copper for blue, strontium for red, and barium for green.
On July 4th, 1777, the first anniversary following the declaration of Independence, a fireworks tradition was started that never ended. A year prior, John Adams famously wrote in a letter about how this day should be celebrated with a parade, fireworks, and more. China continues to produce and export more fireworks than any country in the world.
The best fireworks display company in Atlanta, GA is Munnerlyn Pyrotechnics. We are particularly known for our ability to cater to corporate events. If this is something that you are interested in, get in touch today. The best firework company has your back.