Fireworks Industry - New Castle, PA | Lawrence County Memoirs
by Lawrence County Memoirs
POSTED ON JULY 24, 2015
Nothing is probably more synonymous with the celebration of the American holiday of Independence Day – or the Fourth of July – then a colorful display of aerial fireworks. In 1990 the city of New Castle, Pennsylvania, completely embraced that concept and declared themselves the “Fireworks Capital of America.” Just how did this come about?
Noise-making firecrackers were invented by the Chinese as early as 200 B.C. Eventually, around 700 A.D., the Chinese invented crude visual pyrotechnics that became known as “fireworks,” and began shooting these ground-based pyrotechnics off for festive occasions such as holidays. During the 13th Century these fireworks made their way to Europe. Over the next few centuries English, German, and Italian experts made great strides in developing new and more impressive pyrotechnics. It was the Italians who turned fireworks into a true art form. They learned to use mortars to launch them high into the air, and added metallic powders to the fireworks to reveal splendid colors.
Early fireworks demonstrations in Europe were reserved for the monarchy, but during the 18th Century it became commonplace to hold large displays of fireworks for the general public. These fireworks also made their way to the American Colonies. The first large scale Independence Day fireworks celebration in the United States was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1777.