History of fireworks

To have fun with bangers is an old deep rooted tradition in the Chinese spirit. In the early days one used fresh bamboo that was thrown onto a fire, the head caused the air in the tubes to expand and the tubes cracked with a bang. Thereafter the Chinese name for bangers “Baozhu” (cracking bamboo). This was a long time before gunpowder gave the opportunity for pyrotechnic bangs .

The History

The widely accepted view is that fireworks have its origins in China under the Sung dynasty (960-1279). A chef in old-time China discovered that a mixture of sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal was highly combustible and would explode if limited to a small room. The discovery was first used for entertainment.

The technique was rapidly taken in to the art of weaponry and used to propel rocket fueled arrows. In the 8th century the knowledge spread west through Arabia and reached Europe in the 14th century, where the art of pyrotechnics evolved with the discovery of the gun in the 15th century.

In fact it wasn’t until the 20th century that fireworks became a wide and colorful concept we know today. Bright colors are achieved by combining calcium chlorate and different metallic salts. These salts give us multiple colors; strontium burns in red, copper give us blue, barium glows green and natrium makes the yellow light. Magnesium, aluminum and titanium give us white sparks or flashes.

All fireworks shows are a fantastic view of physics. Qualified pyrotechnic personnel must consider the relationship between vectors, speed and projectiles and their paths together with the powers of the explosions behind the patterns.

Important times in history


The Romans use the predecessors to modern fireworks.


First written description on how to make fireworks –from China


After a recess of several hundred years’ man once again begin to experiment and develop fireworks in Europe.


First documented fireworks-rocket is fired – in China.


The Pope in Rome arranged fireworks to honor John the Baptists on his day –St. Johns day. The fireworks were fired in the daytime because it was the sound and movement that fascinated people in those days.


First known fireworks in Norway – in Bergen 25th of June 1599 when King Christian IV returned from his journey in North-Norway. King Christian IV was able to make his own fireworks.


The art of fireworks – pyrotechnics – evolves. The Ruggieri family in Paris made advanced fireworks by adding different metallic salts.