The History of Fireworks

By Alexis Stempien.

On America’s first Fourth of July celebration in 1777, fireworks were one color: orange. There were no elaborate sparkles, no red, white, and blue stars — nothing more than a few glorified (although uplifting) explosions in the sky.

As it turns out, although we’ve been lighting fireworks for the last 2000 years or so, modern fireworks were only invented in the 1830s — so, what were they like before then? When Henry VII had fireworks at his wedding in 1486, how did they look? How have fireworks and the science behind them evolved throughout history?