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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Video: The Science of Fireworks, some 18th century fireworks illustrations, and photographic advice

Washington College professor John Conkling, who is the former director of the American Pyrotechnics Association and the co-author of Chemistry of Pyrotechnics, breaks down the science of fireworks and offers a laboratory demonstration of various color fuels in action.



Atlas Obscura has an excellent gallery of antique illustrations of fireworks. Here's one, but go to the link to see the whole set:

This hand-colored etching illustrates a 1749 show celebrating the Aix la Chapelle peace treaty, which also featured the first performance of George Fredric Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks." Sadly, three spectators were killed during the show when a lit rocket shot into a stack of reserve fireworks and blew up a pavilion. (Image: Public Domain/WikiCommons)


And there's this:

Designs for "pyrotechny," engraved by Andrew Bell
for the 1797 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. 
Related, National Geographic has some pro tips on how to take good pictures of fireworks. 

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