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The History of Fireworks

At Jerry Pelfrey Fireworks, we don’t try to hide our passion for pyrotechnics. But, to fully appreciate all that fireworks encompass, it’s essential to pay homage to them and understand their history as it plays such a pivotal role in our civilization.


The First Natural Firework

The origins of fireworks can be rooted back to ancient Liuyang, China, around 200 B.C. These fireworks were used in practices to ward off evil spirits.

These original fireworks were bamboo sticks that would explode, emitting a loud boom when thrown into a fire. The pockets of air in the hollow bamboo stalks would cause overheating, resulting in the explosion.


The First Man-Made Firework

Later, sometime between 600 and 900 A.D., an alchemist in China created a flaky, black powder that would later become known as gunpowder. This product was made by mixing sulfur and potassium nitrate.

During this time, they would pour gunpowder into hollowed-out bamboo stocks, ultimately becoming the first man-made fireworks. Later, tubes made of stiff paper would replace the bamboo stocks.


Fireworks for Celebration

Eventually, around 1200 A.D., fireworks migrated to Europe and were often used for public entertainment and religious festivals. Because they would light up their castles and enchant the people, European rulers were known to love fireworks.


Fireworks were an integral part of celebrations that the early settlers of America brought them with them in their travels. As such, fireworks became a part of the first Independence Day and immediately became a deep-seated tradition in the country.



Fireworks Today

Today, fireworks are a significant part of American celebrations, including the 4th of July, New Year’s Day, and the Super Bowl. One of the largest firework displays in the country can be found right here in Kentucky, Thunder Over Louisville, the kickoff event for the Kentucky Derby Festival each year.


Let’s Spark Something!

Now that you know all about the history of fireworks, all you’re missing is the fireworks display. Thankfully, at Jerry Pelfrey Fireworks, we can help provide you with endless firework options.


Whether you’re looking for a personal show or wholesale purchases for a firework business of your own, you’ve come to the right place. Jerry Pelfrey Fireworks is the largest independent fireworks business in Kentucky. Contact us today by calling 606-367-5569.

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