Who invented Fireworks

Fireworks have been in existence for thousands of years, and most experts agree the the Chinese must have invented fireworks over 2000 years ago, perhaps even as much as 2500 years ago. The first fireworks know to these ancient people were discovered by accident when green bamboo stalks exploded in their evening camp fires.

The sound of the explosion frightened them very much and were first attributed to the gods being angry with them but it was quickly discovered that green bamboo always exploded, and priests of the time quickly surmised that if the people were very afraid of the noise then so too must the evil spirits who were known to come out of the hiding places at night.

chinese fireworks Who invented Fireworks

Chinese alchemists stumbled on a chemicals that could be made to burn very quickly and release a tremendous amount of light and smoke, and would sometimes explode with great force, and this led to the invention of fireworks as we know them today, and also to the invention of gunpowder which medieval Chinese artillery would use to cause damage to the enemy’s forces and defensive walls.

The invention of fireworks similar to those we know today didn’t really start to happen until after Marco Polo returned to Europe from the court of the Kublai Khan, though in Europe the main interest came from military scientists who wanted to develop cannons. Chinese fireworks with fins that would shoot straight up into the air were seen as frivolous and not useful, though they were in fact the predecessor of today’s rockets that propel the space shuttle into orbit.

Italians in the renaissance era were the first to properly develop fireworks that would show different colors when fired up into the air. The original Chinese invention only used white and blue, these being the colors of the compounds, but the Italians were able to invent gold and silver fireworks.

fireworks Who invented Fireworks

The first written account of fireworks for purely recreational use, and which is still in demand today by fireworks makers was authored by Frenchman Amedee-Francois Frezier in 1706, though earlier Chinese poets and historians had written about the use of fireworks in Chinese festivals and social events.

Even recent inventions of fireworks displays for the general public, and the various types of fireworks seen such as Peonies, Willows, Palms, Rings, Spiders, Roman Candles, and Cakes cannot be claimed to have been invented by any particular person since most fireworks manufacturers compete with one another for the biggest and brightest explosions, and all borrow ideas from each other.

Learn about the history of fireworks.

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Peter is the founder of WhoGuides - The History Website. He's always happy to share his passion for history. Use the contact form if you want to get in touch with him.

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