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20 curious facts about fireworks
The National Council on Fireworks Safety
Fireworks, though tons of fun, can also be dangerous. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers this comprehensive Web site, which runs through all the important safety issues related to fireworks. The site includes sections devoted to statistics on fireworks safety and state laws on fireworks.
American Fireworks News
The motto of American Fireworks News is "He who hath smelt the smoke is neer agin free." Whether or not you take fireworks that seriously, visit this site to explore a wide range of current information and multimedia resources related to fireworks.
Shooting Fireworks: Capture the Spectacle
Beautiful but fleeting, fireworks can be difficult to capture on film. Visit this site offered by the Smithsonian museum to bone up on your fireworks photography skills before next July 4th.
As seen in the NOVA program "Fireworks!," Pyro Boy is a daredevil stage artist who uses fireworks to make his performances, well, explosive. Find out more about him, watch video clips of his performances, and check his schedule for upcoming appearances in a city near you.
Fireworks: Art, Science, and Technique by Takeo Shimizu. New York: Pyrotechnica, 1998.
The favorite volume of fireworks buffs, Shimizu's text is full of information on both artistic and scientific topics related to fireworks. You'll also find a detailed history of the Japanese firework industry and loads of color photographs.
Incendiary Art: The Representation of Fireworks in Early Modern Europe by Kevin Salatino. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty, 1998.
Before the days of MTV and DVD's, fireworks were one of the most widely popular forms of entertainment. From Shakespearean plays to celebrations in the court of Louis XIV to the peace celebrations of 1749 at The Hague, explore the social and historical context of fireworks in early European culture through historic prints, paintings, and narrative descriptions.
Fireworks Principles and Practice by Ronald Lancaster et al. New York: Chemical Publishing, 1998.
This book presents everything about fireworks in a clear and concise manner. From a world history of fireworks, to how they are made, to firework control legislation and beyond, this book is an excellent all-in-one resource.
Fireworks: A History and Celebration by George Plimpton. New York: Doubleday, 1984.
After watching a breathtaking display of fireworks in New York's Central Park, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis urged George Plimpton to write a history of fireworks. The result is Plimpton's quirky but interesting memoiristic musing on fireworks through the ages, replete with fantastic illustrations.
Michael Barnes, NOVA co-producer, "Fireworks!"
Julie Crawford, NOVA co-producer, "Fireworks!"
Wayne Desrosiers, Atlas Advanced Pyrotechnics
James Quintiere, University of Maryland at College Park
Matt Shea, Atlas Advanced Pyrotechnics
Lauren Aguirre, Executive Editor
Katie Caldwell, Associate Designer
Rick Groleau, Managing Editor
Brenden Kootsey, Senior Web Developer
Lexi Krock, Editorial Assistant
Peter Tyson, Editor in Chief
Anya Vinokour, Senior Designer
Fireworks Home—Photos: WGBH/NOVA and Windfall Films, Inc.
Name that Shell—Photos: (All, except strobe, poinsettia, wagon wheel, phoenix and birds) Courtesy of An Ping Fireworks, Hunan Firecrackers and Fireworks, Jianxi Fireworks, and Lidu Fireworks; (Strobe, poinsettia, wagon wheel, phoenix and birds) WGBH/NOVA and Windfall Films, Inc.; Video clips: WGBH/NOVA and Windfall Films.
Anatomy of a Firework—Illustrations: Courtesy of Fireworks by Grucci.
Pyrotechnically Speaking—Photos: (All, except photo of Dr. John Conkling) WGBH/NOVA and Windfall Films, Inc.; (Dr. Conkling) Courtesy of Washington College.
On Fire—Illustrations: WGBH/NOVA
Compiled by Lexi Krock
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