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Fire-Works

fire, rockets and causing

FIRE-WORKS. As the leading object of this work is utility and not mere amusement, we shall but very briefly notice the nature and composition of artificial fire-works. Of these the most generally interesting, from the great altitude of their flight, are rockets. They are made by ramming into strong cylindrical paper cases (put into wooden moulds to support them) powdered gunpowder, or the ingredients of which it is composed ; namely, saltpetre, sul phur, and charcoal, very dry. To represent a fiery rain falling from the rocket, mix among your charge a composition of powdered glass, filings of iron, and sawdust; this shower is called the peacock's tail, on account of the various colours exhibited. Camphor mixed with the charge produces white or pale fire ; resin, a reddish colour ; sulphur, a blue ; sal ammoniac, a green; anti mony, a reddish yellow ; ivory shavings, a silvery white ; pitch, a deep or dark coloured fire ; and steel filings, beautiful corruscations and sparks. Sticks are fastened to the rockets for the convenience of discharging them, and causing them to pass through the air like an arrow ; the resistance of the air to the rush of fire at the end of the rocket causing it to ascend. Artificial fire-works

differ from each other very much in point of simplicity of construction. Some require very little dexterity in the preparation, and are either employed as appendages to works of greater importance, or, if used by themselves, are con fined to the sports of school-boys. Of this nature are squibs, crackers, ser pents, stars, sparks, maroons, saucissons, pin-wheels, leaders, Roman candles, &c. Others are very complex in their structure, require considerable address and ingenuity, and form the amusement of fashionable circles on occasions of public rejoicing, or private festivity : such are wheels, suns, globes, pyramids, &c., and rockets of various kinds. Those who wish for precise instructions in the preparation of these resplendent trifles, we would recommend to consult the article PYROTECHNT, in the Oxford Encyclopedia.