Visual Encyclopedia

Fireworks

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Here is what is added to give fireworks bright and vibrant colors: Blue.....Copper salts Gold.....Aluminum, magnesium Green...Barium salts Red......Strontium salts White....Aluminum, magnesium Yellow...Sodium salts

Contributed by Taylor Jackson

Fireworks weren't very colorful until the 1830s.

Contributed by Taylor Jackson

Fireworks were invented 2,000 years ago in China. China is also the largest manufacturer of fireworks.

Contributed by Taylor Jackson

'Cause, baby, you're a firework Come on, show 'em what you're worth Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh" As you shoot across the sky-y-y Baby, you're a firework Come on, let your colours burst Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh" You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Contributed by Iesha Liberato

fireworks

Contributed by Keri Potter

fireworks

Contributed by Keri Potter

Here's an entertaining video that showcases everything you shouldn't do with fireworks. Content warning for language, nudity, and stupidity applies.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

Sparklers are something many folks have enjoyed since childhood. They are usually a metal or bamboo stick that, when lit, provides a minute or so of sparks. These are one of the only handheld fireworks. Don't attempt to hold anything else by hand. Notes to parents giving sparklers to their little ones: Younger kids should have the wooden or bamboo sticks. The metal ones tend to heat up a little and stay hot after burning out. Also, there are now three foot long sparklers. These are NOT meant for children. The most fireworks injuries reported in a year are due to sparklers. Watch your little ones and be sure they don't accidentally touch or step on a discarded sparkler. It's not a bad idea to put the spent sparklers in some water.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

It's very important to play safe with fireworks. Read the labels. Know the rules. Be smart. Depending on the type of fireworks you want to display will depend on how you operate them. Basic "Safe and Sane" fireworks like fountains are light duty and you can usually be fine operating them in a backyard or on your driveway. Spectators should be 5 to 10 feet away, depending on the size of the fountain. Some can shoot as high as 6 or more feet, so caution is a good idea. Aerial fireworks have their own set of rules. Cakes or Repeaters, those that have multiple shots and one fuse, should be placed on a hard flat surface with no obstructions to the sides or above. Be sure that the plain side is on the bottom. Sometimes they'll tell you "this side up", other times there will simply be no label on the bottom. Mortar or Artillery Shells are the types that are launched from a tube. A shell should have the fuse unwrapped and the flat end is the bottom that touches the bottom of the tube. These are often marked "this side up" but its simple to see which way it goes in by how it hangs from the fuse. The tubes should always be set on a hard, flat surface. Same rules apply as before: you don't want trees or overhangs in the way. With these bigger, aerial fireworks, you definitely want your spectators farther away. 50 feet is a safe bet with most consumer level aerials.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

One of the most basic fireworks is the fountain. These are light duty in the fireworks world--just about anyone (in the US) can light one of these. Just about (check your local laws of course). These fireworks produce cascading sparks in different colors, often accompanied by whistles or crackles. They aren't usually very loud. The packages they come in are usually cylindrical or cone shaped, however they come in just about every shape and size these days, from minute inch tall fountains to large finale cake style fountains that put most wedding cakes to shame. Some folks, however, are looking for aerial fireworks--those that actually launch into the sky. The easiest ways to tell these fireworks apart is to read the warning label on the packaging. If it says "Emits Showers of Sparks", then it is a fountain. And anything that says something along the lines of "Flammable Rocket" or "Shoots Flaming Balls" will shoot into the air.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica