How did fireworks start?

Grand Fireworks

Grand Fireworks

The term Fireworks didn’t come about until 1777 when the first Fourth of July celebration took place. Before that they were simply called rockets. Because they were more visual than anything, they called them fireworks. Later on, the ones that were made for noise and not beauty were called fire crackers. And in 1880 sparklers were created. Sparklers are long thin wands that split out bursts of sparks in waterfall-style patterns.

In the Middle Ages, they had firemasters who designed and put on elaborate fireworks displays for military victories, religious festivals and crowning of kings and queens. Because this became so popular, by the 1700s they needed help, and so the assistants were known as wild men or green men because they wore caps made of green leaves.

They were much like jesters, flitting among the crowds telling stories, jokes and warning people to stand back. Then they would set off the fireworks with lighted sticks called fire clubs. This was a dangerous job and many green men were injured or killed when a firecracker misfired or didn’t shoot high enough in the air to be safe.

When fireworks came to America they were used for both domestic and public celebrations. By 1870, American companies were marketing fireworks for private use by renaming them Roman Candles, Flying Dragons, Sun Wheels, and Prismatic Foundations. And the popularity of the at home in your backyard fireworks fun meant many people didn’t have to deal with huge crowds to enjoy them. But, it meant they had to pay for them, whereas the public displays were usually paid for by the town and free to view.

Only 35 states as of right now have fireworks legal for the public to use. The other 15 states make it illegal totally. And in the case of some states they allow only certain kinds of fireworks to be legal. All states since 1966 have banned Cherry Bombs and other large firecrackers due to the large number of injuries.

To find out fi your state allows fireworks you can look it up at: www.usfireworks.biz

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