Centuries Of Celebrating With Fireworks

December 31 2013, 10:32am

We’re very close now to ringing in the new year, and for many that celebration will include a display of fireworks! Fireworks are generally recognized as originating in China as early as the 7th century. By the 14th century they had made their way to Europe, where they were rapidly developed in Italy and Germany before spreading throughout the rest of the continent. It was discovered that the effects of firework displays were amplified by placing them on  floats in water, where more light and noise would be reflected back towards the audience, and they grew ever more elaborate, employing the work of carpenters, metalworkers, masons, and painters in their construction. By the mid-17th century the science and art of pyrotechnics had developed to create some of the most amazing spectacles, used for entertainment on an unprecedented scale in Europe. However you plan on celebrating the arrival of 2014, here are ten astounding historical firework displays to enjoy! From all of us at Carlton Hobbs, we wish you the best for a Happy New Year!

An etching of the Royal Fireworks display on the Thames, London, England in 1749.   Plan for ground fireworks at Versailles for the marriage of le Comte de Provence,May 15th,1771.   Plan du Feu d’Artifice at Versailles, Summer, 1771.   Pen and ink drawing with watercolor wash from a treaty on fireworks. Late 16th century. Ranuzzi Manuscripts. Dieppe, 14th July 1905 by John Duncan Fergusson, 1905.   View of the Arc de Triomphe with Fireworks by Philibert Louis Debucourt, 1810. Fireworks in honor of Catherine II in 1787 by Jan Bogumił Plersch.   Le Feu (The Fire), illustration for ‘Fetes Galantes’ by Paul Verlaine, 1924.   Bird’s-Eye View of the Great New York and Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Display of Fire Works on Opening Night, 1883.   Artilleriebuch by Walther Litzelmann, 1582.