When this book was first published in 1635, fireworks were a relative novelty in the western world – although invented by the Chinese in ancient times. The author, ‘an inferior gunner’ in the military service of Charles I, wrote his treatise on making fireworks for pleasure to please his superior officer, the Earl of Newport, Master of the King’s Ordnance, to whom it is fulsomely dedicated. Babington writes in a clear ‘how to’ style, and includes instructions – and delightful diagrams and illustrations – on making and lighting many types of fireworks familiar to us today, including rockets and Catherine wheels. There are many more elaborate fireworks listed too, including instructions for making a Royal coat of arms in fire; and directions for staging a duel between a St George and a fire-breathing dragon. One of the oldest titles ever published by the Naval & Military Press, this beautifully illustrated and instructive volume well-deserves its accolade by fireworks expert Chris Phillips as ‘The most important work in the bibliography of fireworks’.
PYROTECHNIA OR A DISCOURSE OF ARTIFICIAL FIRE-WORKS 1635
Described as ‘the most important work in the bibliography of fireworks’ this 1635 treatise, superbly illustrated with beautiful diagrams, was written by one of Charles I’s gunners to illustrate the possibilities of using gunpowder for pleasure.