Fireworks have been around for over 2000 years. Most historians agree that fireworks originated in China around 200 BC. Villagers would throw pieces of bamboo into a fire to ensure that evil spirits would be frighten away by the exploding bamboo. This country also invented gun powder in 600 AD. Serendipity played a pivotal role in the history of fireworks. Gunpowder was placed into a piece of hallowed bamboo thrown into a fire. There was no aerial show, just a series of explosions. Gunpowder also proved to be an amazing addition to the weapons of war. Explorers and traders brought the new technologies to Europe. The Europeans utilized this new knowledge on the battlefield and for special occasions.
Europeans used fireworks to celebrate religious holy days, military victories, and royal events. The shows became more colorful and in addition to noise, the pyrotechnics went aerial. English settlers brought the science of fireworks to the colonies. John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote a letter to his wife on July 2, 1776, stating that “this day ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks).” On July 4, 1777, fireworks were included in the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Happy 4th of July to all.