14 Fun Facts About Fireworks

Jul 2, 2020 | Hinsdale

With the 4th of July just a few days away, it's only fitting that we share some fireworks fun facts with you! Today's fun facts come from Smithsonian Magazine!

1. The Chinese used firecrackers to scare off mountain men.

2. The invention of fireworks led to the invention of pyrotechnic weaponry—not the other way around.

3. Fireworks are just chemical reactions.

4. Specific elements produce specific colors. Strontium and lithium compounds produce deep reds; copper produces blues; titanium and magnesium burn silver or white; calcium creates an orange color; sodium produces yellow pyrotechnics; and finally, barium burns green. Combining chlorine with barium or copper creates neon green and turquoise flames, respectively. Blue is apparently the most difficult to produce. Pyrotechnic stars comprised of these chemicals are typically propelled into the sky using an aerial shell.

5. China may have invented the firework, but Italy invented the aerial shell (and also made fireworks colorful).

6. Marco Polo probably wasn’t the first to bring gunpowder to Europe.

7. Boom! Hiss! Crack! Some firework recipes include sound elements.

8. Fireworks are poisonous.

9. You can’t recycle fireworks.

10. Don’t worry, chemists are developing more environmentally friendly firework recipes.

11. Americans have been setting off fireworks to celebrate their independence since 1777, at least.

12. Fireworks aren’t for everybody.

13. Fireworks are dangerous (duh).

14. Fireworks have been used in pranks for centuries.

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