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For red Chinese fire
Sparks may also be made thus :~Take saw-dust
of fir, poplar, &c., and boil it in water in which Salt Calibres.
Sand of the saltpetre has been dissolved. When the water Sulphur. Charcoal. petre.
has boiled some time, it is to be poured off, that
the saw-dust may remain in the vessel. When lbs.
dr. nearly dry, it is to be spread out on a table, and 12 to 15
sprinkled with sulphur sifted through a very fine 18 to 21 1
5 7 8 sieve, to which may be added a• little mealed 24 to 36 1
4. Golden ruin.-Some rockets, which, as
they fall, make small undulations in the air, For white Chinese fire.
called by French writers fusées chevelues, and
by us bearded rockets, finish with a kind of Bruised Salt.
Sand of the shower of fire, which is called golden rain, thus Calibres.
Gun Charcoal. petre.
constructed :-Fill the barrels of some goose powder.
quills with the composition of flying rockets
(for which see onward), and place upon the lbs. lbs.
mouth of each a little moist gunpowder, both to 12 to 15 1 12 7 8 11
keep in the composition, and to serve as a match, 18 to 21 1 11
If flying rockets be then loaded with these quills, 24 to 36
8 8 12
the explosion of them will terminale in a beau
tiful shower of fire, to which the name of golden When these materials have been weighed, the rain has been given. saltpetre and charcoal must be three times sifted 5. Globes which burn on the water. To make a through a hair sieve, in order that they may be spherical fire ball, construct a hollow wooden globe well mixed : the iron sand is then to be moistened of any size, and let its thickness be about onewith good brandy, to make the sulphur adhere, ninth of its diameter. Into the upper bemisphere and they must be thoroughly incorporated. The insert a right concave cylinder, the breadih of sand thus sulphured must be spread over the which may be equal to one-fifth of the diameter. mixture of salipetre and charcoal, and the whole A petard, loaded with good grained gunpowder, must be mixed together by spreading it over a is to be introduced at the bottom of it, and to table with a spatula.
be placed horizontally ; then the aperture is 2. A shower of fire.- To form a shower of fire, closed with a wooden tompion dipped in pitch, mould small paper cartridges on an iron rod two and over the whole of this part a quantity of lines and a half in diameter, and make them two lead is melted sufficient to make the globe sink : inches and a half in length. They must not be if the globe be now placed in the water, the lead choked, it being sufficient to twist the end of by its gravity will make the aperture tend directly the cartridge, and having put the iron rod into downwards, and keep in a perpendicular direcit to beat it, in order to make it assume its proper tion the cylinder, to which fire must have been form. When the cartridges are filled, which is previously applied. To ascertain whether the done by immersing them in the composition, lead, which has been added to the globe, renders fold down the other end, and then apply a match. its weight equal to that of an equal volume of This will fill the surrounding air with an undu- water, rub the globe over with pitch or grease, lating fire. The following compositions are and make a trial, by placing it in the water. given as proper for meteors of this kind. 1. Chi The composition with which the globe must nese fire. — Mealed gunpowder one pound, sul- be loaded is as follows: to a pound of grained phur iwo ounces, iron-sand of the first order five powder add thirty-two pounds of saltpetre re
2. Ancient fire.- Mealed gunpowder duced to fine flour, eight pounds of sulphur, one one pound, charcoal two ounces. 3. A brilliant ounce of scrapings of ivory, and eight pounds fire.—Mealed gunpowder one pound, iron-filings of saw-dust previously boiled in a solution of four ounces. The first of these compositions is saltpetre, and dried in the shade, or in the sun. thought to be the most beautiful.
Or to two pounds of bruised gunpowder add 3. Sparks, differing only from stars in their twelve pounds of saltpetre, six pounds of suisize and duration, are thus prepared :-Put into phur, four pounds of iron filings, and one pound an earthen vessel an ounce of mealed gunpowder, of Greek pitch. two ounces of pulverised saltpetre, one ounce of It is not necessary that this composition should liquid saltpetre, and four ounces of camphor re be beaten so fine as that intended for rockets: it duced to powder; pour over this mixture some requires neither to be pulverised nor sifted; it gum-water, or brandy in which gum has been is sufficient to be well mixed and incorporated, dissolved, till the composition becomes of the But, to prevent it from becoming too dry, it will consistence of thick soup. Then take some lint be proper to besprinkle it with a little oil, or any which has been soaked in brandy, or in vinegar, other liquid susceptible of inflammation. or even in a solution of saltpetre, and, being dried 6. Of globes which leap or roll on the ground.and unravelled, throw into the mixture such a Having constructed a wooden globe with a cyquantity of it as is sufficient to absorb it entirely, linder similar to the above described, and havtaking care to stir it well. This compositioning loaded it with the same composition, intromay be formed into small balls about the size of a duce into it four petards, or even more, loaded pea, and being dried in the shade, and sprinkled with good grained gunpowder to their orifices, with mealed powder, they will readily catch fire. which must be well stopped with paper or tow
If a globe, prepared in this manner, be fired by pasteboard with a wooden bottom : it ought to be means of a match, it will leap about, as it burns, put into a large iron mortar, and to be loaded on a smooth horizontal plane, according as the with a quantity of powder proportioned to the petards are set on fire. Instead of placing these weight of the globe. This small mortar must be petards in the inside, they may be affixed to the of light wood, or of paper pasted together, and exterior surface of the globe; which they will rolled up in the forın of a cylinder, or truncated make to roll and leap as they catch fire. They cone, the bottom excepted; which, as already may be applied in any manner to the surface of said, must be of wood. The chamber for the the globe.
powder must be pierced obliquely, with a small 7. A similar globe may be made to roll about gimlet; so that, the aperture corresponding to on a horizontal plane, with a very rapid motion. the aperture of the metal mortar, the fire applied Construct two equal hemispheres of pasteboard, to the latter may be communicated to the powand adjust in one of them three common rockets der which is at the bottom of the chamber, imfilled and pierced like flying rockets that have no mediately below the globe. By this means the petard : these rockets must not exceed the in- globe will catch fire, and make an agreeable noise terior breadth of the hemisphere, and ought to as it rises into the air; but it would not succeed be arranged in such a manner that the head of so well if any vacuity were left between the the one shall correspond to the tail of the other. powder and the globe. The rockets being arranged, join the two hemi A profile or perpendicular section of such a spheres, by cementing them together with strong globe is represented by the right-angled parallelopaper, in such a manner that they shall not se- gram, the breadth of which is nearly equal to the parate, while the globe is moving and turning, at height. The thickness of the wood, towards the the same time that the rockets produce their effect. two sides, is equal, as above said, to the twelfth To set fire to the first, make a hole in the globe part of the diaineter of the globe; and the thickopposite to the tail of it, and introduce into it a ness of the cover is double the preceding, or equal match. This match will communicate fire to the to a sixth part of the diameter. The height of first rocket; which, when consumed, will set fire the chamber where the match is applied, and to the second by means of another match, and so which is terminated by a semicircle, is equal to on to the rest; so that the globe, if placed on a the fourth part of the breadth ; and its breadth smooth horizontal plane, will be kept in conti- is equal to the sixth part. We must here obnual motion. It is here to be observed that a serve that it is dangerous to put wooden covers few more holes must be made in the globe, other on aërial balloons or globes; for these covers wise it will burst.
may be so heavy as to wound those on whom The two hemispheres of pasteboard may be they happen to fall. It will be sufficient to place prepared in the following manner :- Construct turf or hay above the globe, in order that the a very round globe of solid wood, and cover it powder may experience some resistance. with melted wax; then cement over it several The globe must be filled with several pieces bands of coarse paper, about two inches in of cane or common reed, equal length to the breadth, giving it several coats of this kind, to the interior height of the globe, and charged with a thickness of about two lines. Or, which will be slow composition, made of three ounces of poundstill easier and better, having dissolved, in glue ed gunpowder, an ounce of sulphur moistened water, some of the pulp employed by the paper- with a small quantity of petroleum oil, and two makers, cover with it the surface of the globe; ounces of charcoal; and in order that these reeds then dry it gradually at a slow fire, and cut it or canes may catch fire sooner, and with more through in the middle; by which means you facility, they must be charged at the lower ends, will have two strong hemispheres. The wooden which rest on the bottom of the globe, with pulglobe may be easily separated from the paste- verised gunpowder moistened in the same manboard by means of heat; for if the whole be ap ner with petroleum oil, or well besprinkled with plied to a strong fire the wax will dissolve, so brandy, and then dried. The bottom of the globe that the globe may be drawn out: instead of melt- ought to be covered with a little gunpowder half ed wax, soap may be employed.
pulverised and half grained; which, when set on 8 Of aërial globes, called bombs.—These globes fire, by means of a match applied to the end of are called aërial because they are thrown into the the chamber, will set fire to the lower part of the air from a mortar, which is a short thick piece of reed. But care must have been taken to fill the artillery of a large calibre. And though these chamber with a composition similar to that in globes are of wood, and have a suitable thickness, the reeds, or with another slow composition namely, equal to the twelfth part of their diame- made of eight ounces of gunpowder, four ounces ters, if too much powder be put into the mortar of saltpetre, two ounces of sulphur, and one they will not be able to resist its force; the ounce of charcoal: the whole 'must be well charge of powder therefore must be proportioned pounded and mixed. Instead of reeds, the globe to the globe to be ejected. The usual quantity may be charged with running rockets, or paper is an ounce of powder for a globe of four pounds petards, and a quantity of fiery stars or sparks weight; two ounces for one of eight, and so on. mixed with pulverised gunpowder, placed with
As the chamber of the mortar may be too out any order above these petards, which must larye to contain the exact quantity of powder suf- be choked at unequal heights, that they may ficient for the fire-ball, which ought to be placed perform their effect at different times. immediately above the powder, in order that it These globes may be constructed in various may be expelled and set on fire at the same time, other ways, which it would be tedious here to another mortar may be constructed of wood, or of enumerate. We shall only observe that, when
loaded, they must be well covered at the top; 3d. Jets of fifteen or eighteen lines in diameter they must be wrapped up in a piece of cloth Chinese fire. — Saltpetre one pound fout dipped in glue, and a piece of woollen cloth must ounces, sulphur seven ounces, charcoal five be tied round them, so as to cover the hole which ounces, of the six different kinds of sand mixed contains the match.
twelve ounces. Père d'Incarville, in his me9. Jets of fire.-Jets of fire are a kind of fixed moirs on this subject, gives various other proporrockets, the effect of which is to throw up into tions for the composition of these jets; but we the air jets of fire, similar to jets of water. They must confine ourselves to what has been here serve also to represent cascades: for if a series of said, and refer the reader to the author's memoirs, such rockets be placed horizontally on the same which will be found in the Manuel de l'Artiline, it may be easily seen that the fire they emit ficier. will resemble a sheet of water. When arranged The saltpetre, pulverised gunpowder, and in a circular form, like the radii of a circle, they charcoal, are three times sifted through a hair form what is called a fixed sun. To form jets of sieve. The iron sand is besprinkled with sulthis kind, the cartridge for brilliant fires must, phur, after being moistened with a little brandy, in thickness, be equal to a fourth part of the that the sulphur may adhere to it; and they are diameter, and, for Chinese fire, only to a sixth then mixed together: the sulphured sand is then part.
spread over the first mixture, and the whole is The cartridge is loaded on a nipple, having a mixed with a ladle only; for if a sieve were empoint equal in length to the same diameter, and ployed, it would separate the sand from the other in thickness to a fourth part of it; but, as it ge- materials. When sand larger than that of the nerally happens that the mouth of the jet becomes second order is used, the composition is moistenlarger than is necessary for the effect of the fire, ed with brandy, so that it forms itself into balls, you must begin to charge the cartridge, as the and the jets are then loaded: if there were too Chinese do, by filling it to a height equal to a much moisture, the sand would not perform its fourth part of the diameter with clay, which must effect. be rammed down as if it were gunpowder. By 10. Of fires of different colors.—It is much to these means the jet will ascend much higher. be wished that, for the sake of variety, different When the charge is completed with the composi- colors could be given to these fire-works at pleation you have made choice of, the cartridge must sure ; but, though we are acquainted with several be close with a tompion of wood, above which materials which communicate to flame various it must be choked. The train or match must colors, it has hitherto been possible to introduce be of the same composition as that employed for only a very few colors into that of inflamed guuloading; otherwise the dilatation of the air con- powder. tained in the hole made by the piercer would To make white fire, the gunpowder must be cause the jet to burst. Clayed rockets may be mixed with iron or rather steel filings. pierced with two holes near the neck, in order to To make red fire, iron sand of the first order have three jets in the same plane.
must be employed in the same manner. If a kind of top, pierced with a number of As copper filings, when thrown into a flame, holes, be added to them, they will imitate a render it green, it might be concluded that, if bubbling fountain. Jets intended for represent- mixed with gunpowder, it would produce a ing sheets of fire ought not to be choked. They green flame; but this experiment does not sucmust be placed in a horizontal position, or inclin- ceed. It is supposed that the flame is too ardent, ed a little downwards. It appears to us that and consumes the inflammable part of the copthey might be choked so as to form a kind of per too soon. But it is probable that a sufficient slit, and be pierced in the same manner; which number of trials have not yet been made ; for is would contribute to extend the sheet of fire still it not possible to lessen the force of gunpowder farther. A kind of long narrow mouth might in a considerable degree, by increasing the dose even be provided for this particular purpose.
of the charcoal ?
However the following are a few of those maPrincipal compositions for jets of fire.
terials which, in books on pyrotechny, are said 1st. Jets of five lines, or less, of interior diameter. to possess the property of communicating various gunpowder one pound, sulphur eight ounces, the flame to appear of a pale white color. Chinese fire.—Saltpetre one pound, pulverised colors to fire-works.
Camphor mixed with the composition makes charcoal two ounces. White fire.-Saltpetre one pound, pulverised
Raspings of ivory give a clear flame of a silgunpowder eight ounces, sulphur three ounces,
ver color, inclining a little to that of lead; or charcoal two ounces, iron sand of the first order rather a white dazzling flame. eight ounces.
Greek pitch produces a reddish flame, of a
bronze color. 2d. Jets of from ten to twelve lines in diameter.
Black pitch, a dusky flame, like a thick smoke, Brilliant fire.-Pulverised gunpowder one which obscures the atmosphere. pound, iron filings of a mean size five ounces. Sulphur, mixed in a moderate quantity, makes
White fire.-Saltpetre one pound, pulverised the flame appear bluish. gunpowder one pound, sulphur eight ounces, Sal ammoniac and verdigris give a greenish. charcoal two ounces.
flame. Chinese fire.-Saltpétre one pound four ounces, Raspings of yellow amber communicate to the sulphur five ounces, sand of the third order flame à lemon color. twelve ounces.
Crude antimony gives a russet color.
Borax ought to produce a blue flame; for spi- manner that the mouth of the one shall be near rit of wine, in which sedative salt, one of the the bottom of the other, so that when the fire of component parts of borax, is dissolved by the the one is ended it may immediately proceed to means of heat, burns with a beautiful green flame. another. It may easily be perceived that, when
Much, however, still remains to be done in fire is applied to one of these jets, the recoil of regard to this subject; but it would add to the the rocket will make the wheel turn round, beauty of artificial fire-works, if they could be unless it be too large and ponderous: for this varied by giving them different colors : this would reason, when these suns are of a considerable be creating for the eyes a new pleasure. size, that is, when they consist for example of
11. Composition of a paste proper for represent- twenty rockets, fire must be communicated at the ing animals, and other devices in fire.-It is to the same time to the first, the sixth, the eleventh, Chinese also that we are indebted for this me- and the sixteenth; from which it will proceed to thod of representing figures with fire. For this the second, the seventh, the twelfth, the sevenpurpose, take sulphur reduced to an impalpable teenth, and so on. These four rockets will make powder, and, having formed it into a paste with the wheel turn round with rapidity. starch, cover with it the figure you are desirous If two similar suns be placed one behind the of representing on fire: it is here to be observed other, and made to turn in a contrary direction, that the figure must first be coated over with clay, they will produce a very pretty effect of crossto prevent it from being burnt. When the figure fire. Three or four suns, with horizontal axes has been covered with this paste, besprinkle it passed through them, might be implanted in a while still moist with pulverised gunpowder; and, vertical axis, moveable in the middle of a table. when the whole is perfectly dry, arrange some These suns, revolving around the table, will seem small matches on the principal parts of it, that to pursue each other. It may be easily perceived the fire may be speedily communicated to it on that, to make them turn around the table, they all sides.
must be fixed on their axes, and these axes, at the The same paste may be employed on figures place where they rest on the table, ought to be of clay, to form devices and various designs. furnished with a very moveable roller. Thus, for example, festoons, garlands, and other 13. To make crackers.-Cut some stout carornaments, the flowers of which might be imitat- tridge paper into pieces three inches and a half ed by fire of different colors, could be formed broad, and one foot long; one edge of each of on the frieze of a piece of architecture, covered these pieces fold down lengthwise about threewith plaster. The Chinese imitate grapes ex- quarters of an inch broad; then fold the double ceedingly well, by mixing pounded sulphur with edge down a quarter of an inch, and turn the the pulp of the jujube instead of flour paste. single edge back half over the double fold; open
12. Of suns both fixed and moveable.- None of it, and lay all along the channel, which is formed the pyrotechnic inventions can be employed with by the foldings of the paper, some meal powder; so much success, in artificial fire-works, as suns; then fold it over and over till all the paper is of which there are two kinds, fixed and revolv- doubled up, rubbing it down every turn; this ing: the method of constructing both is very being done, bend it backwards and forwards, simple.
two inches and analf, or thereabouts, at a time, as For fixed suns, cause to be constructed a often as the paper will allow; hold all these round piece of wood, into the circumference of folds flat and close, and, with a small pinching which can be screwed twelve or fifteen pieces in cord, give one turn round the middle of the the form of radii ; and to these radii attach jets cracker, and pinch it close; bind it with packof fire, the composition of which has been al- thread, as tight as you can; then, in the place ready described, so that they may appear as ra- where it was pinched, prime one end and cap dii tending to the same centre, the mouth of the it with touch-paper. When these crackers are jet being towards the circumference. Apply a fired they will give a report at every turn of the match in such a manner that the fire communi- paper; if you would have a great number of cated at the centre may be conveyed, at the same bounces, you must cut the paper longer, or join time, to the mouth of each of the jets; by which them after they are made; but, if they are made means, each throwing out its fire, there will be very long before they pinched, you must have a produced the appearance of a radiating sun. piece of wood with a groove in it, deep enough to We here suppose that the wheel is placed in a let in half the cracker; this will hold it straight position perpendicular to the horizon. These while it is pinching. rockets or jets may be so arranged as to cross 14. To make squibs.—First make the cases, of each other in an angular manner; in which case, about six inches in length, by rolling slips of instead of a sun, you will have a star, or a sort of stout cartridge paper three times round a roller, and cross resembling that of Malta. Some of these pasting the last fold ; tying it near the bottom as suns are made also with several rows of jets : tight as possible, and making it air-tight at the these are called glories.
end by sealing-wax. Then take of gunpowder Revolving suns may be constructed in this half a pound, charcoal one ounce, brimstone one manner :- Provide a wooden wheel, of any size ounce, and steel filings half an ounce (or in like at pleasure, and brought into perfect equilibrium proportion); grind them with a muller, or pound around its centre, in order that the least effort ihem in a mortar. Your cases being dry and may make it turn round. Attach to the circum- ready, first put a thimble full of your powder, ference of it fire-jets placed in the direction of and ram it hard down with a ruler; then fill the the circumference; they must not be choked at
aforesaid mixture, ramthe bottom, and ought to be arranged in such a ming it hard down in the course of filling two or Vol. XVIII.
three times; when this is done point it with sparks of fire that incessantly suceeed each other. touch-paper, which should be pasted on that part The same effect will be produced by the star, or which touches the case, otherwise it is liable to by any other figure where the fire is not to apdrop off.
pear as proceeding from the circumference of the The apparatus chiefly used in making fire These two pieces, as well as those that follow, works consists of solid wooden cylinders, called may be of any size, provided you observe the formers, for rolling the cases on; similar cylin- proportion between the parts of the figure and ders, either of wood or metal, for ramming down the spiral, which must be wider in larger figures the composition; moulds for holding the cases than in small. If the sun, for example, have while filling; a machine for contracting the ca from six to twelve inches diameter, the width of vity of the cases; another for grinding the mate the strokes that form the spiral need not be more terials; and a particular apparatus for boring than one-twentieth part of an inch, and the spaces some cases after they are filled.
between them, that form the transparent parts,
about two-tenths of an inch. If the sun be two IMITATIVE FIREWORKS.
feet diameter, the strokes should be one-eighth Take a paper that is blacked on both sides, or, of an inch, and the space between one-quarter instead of black, the paper may be colored on of an inch; and, if the figure be six feet diameter, each side with a deep blue, which will be still the strokes should be one-quarter of an inch and better for such as are to be seen through trans- the spaces five twelfths of an inch. These pieces parent papers. It must be of a proper size for have a pleasing effect when represented of a the figure you intend to exhibit. In this paper small size, but the deception is more striking cut out with a penknife several spaces, and with when they are of large dimensions. a piercer make a great number of holes, rather It will be proper to place those pieces, when long than round, and at no regular distance from of a small size, in a box quite closed on every each other.
side, that none of the light may be diffused in To represent revolving pyramids and globes, the chamber: for which purpose it will be conthe paper must be cut through with a penknife, venient to have a tin door behind the box, to and the space cut out between each spiral should which the candlesticks may be soldered, and the be three or four times as wide as the spirals candles more easily lighted. themselves. You must observe to cut them so The several figures cut out should be placed that the pyramid or globe may appear to turn on in frames, that they may be put alternately in a its axis. The columns that are represented in groove in the fore-part of the box; or there may pieces of architecture, or in jets of fire, must be be two grooves, that the second piece, may be cut in the same manner, if they are to be repre. put in before the first is taken out. sented as turning on their axes. In like manner The wheel must be carefully concealed from may be exhibited a great variety of ornaments, the eye of the spectator. cyphers, and medallions, which, when properly Where there is an opportunity of representing colored, cannot fail of producing a most pleasing these artificial fires by a hole in the partition, effect. There should not be a very great diver- they will doubtless have a much more striking sity of colors, as that would not produce the most effect, as the spectator cannot then conjecture by agreeable appearance.
what means they are produced. When these pieces are drawn on a large scale, It is easy to conceive that, by extending this the architecture or ornaments may be shaded : method, wheels may be constructed with three or and, to represent different shades, pieces of color- four spirals, to which may be given different died paper must be pasted over each other, which rections. It is manifest, also, that on the same will produce an effect that would not be expect- principle a great variety of transparent figures ed from transparent paintings. Five or six may be contrived, and which may be all placed pieces of paper pasted over each other will be before the same spiral lines. sufficient to represent the strongest shades. To represent cascades of fire.-In cutting out
To give these pieces the different motions they cascades, you must take care to preserve a naturequire, you must first consider the nature of ral inequality in the parts cut out; for if to save each piece; if, for example, you have cut out time you should make all the holes with the same the figure of the sun, or of a star, you must con- pointed tool, the uniformity of the parts will not struct a wire wheel of the same diameter with fail to produce a disagreeable effect. As these casthose pieces ; over this wheel you paste a very cades are very pleasing when well executed, so thin paper, on which is drawn, with black ink, they are highly disgusting when imperfect. These the spiral figure. The wheel thus prepared is are the most difficult pieces to cut out. to be placed behind the sun or star, in such a To produce the apparent motion of these casmanner that its axis may be exactly opposite the cades, instead of drawing a spiral you must have centre of either of those figures. This wheel a slip of strong paper, of such length as you may be turned by any method you think proper. judge convenient. In this paper there must be
Now, the wheel being placed directly behind a great number of holes near each other, and the sun, for example, and very near to it, is to made with pointed tools of different dimensions. be turned regularly round, and strongly illumi At each end of the paper, a part, of the same nated by candles placed behind it. The lines size with the cascade, must be left uncut; and that form the spiral will then appear, through the towards those parts the holes must be made a spaces cut out from the sun, to proceed from its greater distance from each other, centre to its circumference, and will resemble When the cascade that is cut out is placed be