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Monday, 3 November 2008

Fireworks

Even a little rain wont spoil the fun.

As I said yesterday this week is going to be filled with fireworks. In some ways it's bizzare that fireworks have become such an integral part of celebrations. How did it all begin.

Well it seems it started hundreds of years ago. We know it is a Chinese invention. The theory is someone ran out of firewood so threw a bit of green bamboo on the fire. Dry bamboo has pockets of air trapped inside, when heated this expands, bursts and boom, you have a cracker. It was so scary it was quickly put into use to scare away evil spirits.

Nearly a thousand years passed before another accident lead to the discovery of gunpowder.
It may have been a cook mixing kitchen ingredients, or alchemists trying to discover the elixir of youth. Three common ingredients added to fire make a bigger bang. It didn't take long to work out that if you put these ingredients inside the bamboo reeds you got even more bang for your buck.

Marco Polo brought the knowledge to Europe. By1560 that European Chemists managed to make gunpowder as explosive as possible by experimenting with the ratios of the ingredients. The final proportion which hasn't changed is:
1) Salt Peter 75%
2) Charcoal 15%
3) Sulphur 10%

Warning: Do not attempt this at home!

16 comments:

phoenix said...

Great shot. I love the balance. :)

Hope said...

I really like this photo! The fireworks look to be raining down and the umbrella is there for protection. So many times fireworks shows are cancelled due to weather...so this is nice to see!

Steven (Cavite DP) said...

I love this shot! It is very hard to capture a fireworks shot but you did it with flying colors Mo! Great Job!

Steven^^

Tanya said...

Awesome shot, and like Hope says, looks like the umbrella is for protection from that huge firecracker raining down! I enjoyed the bit of history lesson too :)
I want that umbrella!

Professor said...

I love the juxtaposition of the fireworks and the umbrella.

Sharon said...

This is one of the best fireworks photos I've seen. That umbrella in the corner is a perfect juxtaposition. Nice job! I also enjoyed the story of fireworks (and the formula which I won't attempt myself). Something tells me that the phrase "more bang for your buck" might have evolved somewhere in here.

marley said...

You did well with your firework photos. Mine were all very bad (only one half decent one!) I'm off to the supermarket later so I'll br picking up those ingredients!

alaya said...

i love fireworks!
and looks at your photo, the umbrella in the front really attract attention too

The Lone Beader said...

Great shot of the fireworks!

rob said...

This is a perfect shot! I love it!

DeliaVSora said...

Love this photo! How the fireworks "umbrella" the crowd. Umbrella means "shade" yet the fireworks are "light" in the darkness. Awesome.

PJ said...

Apparently, each nation requires a holiday the includes a spectacular fireworks display.

I used to know someone who loved to play with homemade gun powder...I've lost track of him, fortunately.

Lo said...

wow, what a great photo!

Marie-Noyale said...

Beautiful shot of English fireworks!! umbrella is a must!!
Thanks for the piece of history too!

babooshka said...

The placing of the umbrella in the corner against the fireworks is ingenious. This is a really striking image, aswell as such an informative post.

Becky said...

Wow, what a great lot of information! Thanks for my evening education! :) I love how the umbrella looks to be its own fireworks. It's showering out from a central point, as well. Very nicely done. Fireworks are HARD to capture with a camera.

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