The Art of Making Fireworks

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[left] T. Angelo, The Art of Making Fireworks made Plain and Easy, Containing Comprehensive Directions for Making Sky Rockets…&c.&c. 3d ed. (London: J. Bailey [1815]). Folding frontispiece by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1815.4. Gift of Richard Waln Meirs, Class of 1888.
[right] The Juvenile Book for Making Fireworks: Being the Art of Manufacturing Crackers, Squibs &c. &c. of Every Description … / by a public performer at the gardens (London: Printed by Bailey & Company, [ca. 1837]). Cotsen Children’s Library (CTSN) Pams / Eng 19 / Box 064 1940
art of making fireworks

art of making fireworks5We noticed recently that the same wood engraved design (in reverse) made by George Cruikshank (“with help from my brother”) was used over twenty years later for the “juvenile” edition of the text. Both published by the London firm run by James Bailey.

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Our volume tops the bibliography compiled by Tom Gregorie Tullock in The Rise and Progress of the British Explosives Industry (Whittaker, 1909) “The subjoined complete list of books on explosives, published in England, has been added in the hope that students may find it useful. In some cases the name of the publisher could not be ascertained, no copy of the book in question having been found in the British Museum, or elsewhere in London. The references to books published before 1800 are all to the first editions, these alone having antiquarian interest; the references to books printed after 1800 are to the latest editions only.”

No date. T. Angelo. The Art of Making Fireworks Made Plain and Easy. London, J. Bailey.

No date. Christopher Grotz, Real Engineer. The Art of Making Fireworks, Detonating Balls, etc. London, Dean and Munday.

No date. “Practicus.” Pyrotechny, or the Art of Making Fireworks at Little Cost and with Complete Safety and Cleanliness. London, Ward, Lock and Tyler.

No date. Anonymous. The Art of Making Fireworks Improved to the Modern Practice. Derby, Thomas Richardson.

1560. Peter Whitehorne. Certain Waies for the Orderyng of Souldiers in Battelray. How to Make Saltpetre, Gunpowder, etc. London, John Wight.

1579- Thomas Digges. An Arithmeticall Militare Treatise Named Stratisticos (including a treatise of pyrotechnie and Great Artillerie). London, Henrie Bynneman.

1587. William Bourne. The Arte of Shooting in Great Ordnaunce. London, Thomas Woodcocke.

and so on.

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