Monash University
5110696_20170615SturmanTheChemicalTransformationofFireworksin19thCenturyEurope.pdf (2.96 MB)
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The Chemical Transformation of Fireworks in the 19th Century

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posted on 2017-06-19, 01:25 authored by BARRY THOMAS STURMAN
Fireworks originated in ancient China, and were known in Europe by the 13th century. For many centuries fireworks remained much the same, but during the 19th century they were transformed by the introduction of a full range of colours and other novel effects. This was brought about by the application of new materials that had become available because of developments in chemistry and chemical industry in Western Europe since the middle of the 18th century. The value of these new materials in fireworks was discovered mostly by amateur firework-makers, long before chemists could explain how the new effects were produced.


Principal supervisor

David Terence Garrioch

Additional supervisor 1

Michael Hau

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Historical Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts