Saturday, July 1, 2017

Where did Fireworks come from?

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Fireworks today are small tubes that explode – sometimes with a loud bang –into an array of blooming colors that fall from the sky. With them comes a sense of excitement,wondering what the next firework will look like, but soon they fade away into our memories until next year.

We are able to enjoy the experience of gunpowder and color thanks to the ancient Chinese. They invented the firework and the earliest form of gunpowder nearly 2,000 years ago. It is rumored that the inventor was a cook during the Tang dynasty who combined sulphur, charcoal, and saltpeter, all commonly found in the kitchen during that time. Once this combination of chemicals was discovered, the Chinese would shove it into bamboo shoots and toss them into fires so that they would explode. They were used commonly for celebrations and to frighten away evil spirits.

Fireworks made their way west by many different means. Some say it was due to Marco Polo who brought them to Europe in the 13th century. Others say they were brought back during the Crusades. Regardless of how they made it to Europe – and eventually to the Americas – they’ve had an impact on millions, if not billions, of lives.

When fireworks arrived in the West, one of the early decisions was to take the black powder used to ignite the fireworks and adapt it for military purposes. The Italians were the first to begin manufacturing their fireworks and Germany quickly followed during the 18th century.

The English especially loved them. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a new position in the court for a ‘Fire Master of England’ was created. The display for King James II’s coronation earned the Fire Master a knighthood.

The first fireworks to be set off as a commemorative Fourth of July display in the United States was on July 4, 1777. 

Then 90 years later, on July 1, 1867, Canada celebrated the establishment of the Constitutional Act, which united three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. This birth of Canada was celebrated with music, military displays and, of course, fireworks!

This year, as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, the United States is celebrating its 241st anniversary. Let’s remember what our country has gone through, and enjoy the freedom that we all share as we celebrate in harmony.  

Your Flooring Consultant For Life,

       Matt Capell
       President of Capell Flooring and Interiors


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