Fact File about the Invention of Fireworks: Invention: Fireworks *** Date of Invention: c. 650 AD *** Name of Inventor: Li Tian *** Lifespan of Inventor: 601 AD - 690 AD *** Nationality of Inventor: Chinese *** Historical Period: Ancient China Tang Dynasty (618AD - 907AD) *** Category: Recreation *** Country of Origin: Ancient China *** Facts about the Inventor, Li Tian, and the invention of
Fact 1: Who invented Fireworks? Fireworks, and the formulation of
gunpowder, was invented by Li Tian c. 650 AD during the Tang Dynasty (618AD -
907AD) era of inventions. Fireworks were the first physical explosive and
Fact 2: Who invented Fireworks? Prior to the invention of Fireworks c.
650 AD, flaming arrows were used in warfare and a Greek named Hero of Alexandria
c. 10 AD – c. 70 AD, had invented a rocket-like device called an 'Aeolipile'
used steam as a propellant.
Fact 3: Who invented Fireworks? Firecrackers: The Chinese had already
invented the predecessor of fireworks, in the form of heated bamboo,
completely by accident c 200BC. During a fuel shortage green bamboo
shoots, thrown on a fire, suddenly made a loud, startling, cracking and popping
Fact 4: Who invented Fireworks? Firecrackers: The air trapped inside the
bamboo had heated, compressed, and burst the bamboo with a loud bang and the
simple firecracker was born. The Chinese peasants reasoned that as the exploding
bamboo had frightened the people and terrified the animals it would also
frighten and scare away evil spirits. The Chinese name for 'firecracker' is 'baozhu'
meaning "exploding bamboo". Firecrackers were henceforth used in religious
rituals to guard and protect against supernatural spirits.
Fact 5: Who invented Fireworks? The use of firecrackers became firmly
entrenched in Chinese customs and traditions but, four hundred years after the
firecracker was discovered, the substance that would become known as
'gunpowder' was invented and used to intensify the explosion of firecrackers,
leading to the invention of fireworks.
Fact 3: Who invented Fireworks? The inventor of Fireworks, Li Tian, was born on April 18, 601 AD in Liuyang City, Hunan Province, China and died on 690 AD.
Fact 4: Who invented Fireworks? The early years of Li Tian were spent in Liuyang City, Hunan Province, China where he was raised by his family. Li Tian
became a monk and was a participant in the religious rituals involving
Fact 5: Who invented Fireworks? Li Tian began experimenting with
common substances used in cooking such as sulfur and saltpetre (potassium
nitrate). Sulphur was a common substance that was used to preserve dried fruits.
Saltpetre (potassium nitrate) was also used as a food preservative and, more
commonly as a fertilizer.
Fact 6: Who invented Fireworks? It is probable that Li Tian experimented
with combining sulfur and saltpetre with other substances such as oils and
honey, perhaps to improve the taste of food during the preservation process.
Fact 7: Who invented Fireworks? Li Tian discovered that a brew of honey,
sulfur and saltpetre (potassium nitrate) was a special combination. When the
concoction was heated the process of evaporation, when a liquid changes to a
gas, caused the contents to suddenly erupt into a wall of flame.
Fact 8: Who invented Fireworks? Li Tian, associating the wall of flame
with the use bamboo to create firecrackers, mixed the substances, placed them
into a bamboo reed and invented fireworks, that were more spectacular than the
Fact 9: Who invented Fireworks? The mixture of molten sulfur and honey
acted as fuels that were oxidised by the oxygen from the potassium nitrate
caused what is now known as an ‘exothermic chemical reaction’ that releases
energy by light or heat.
Fact 10: Who invented Fireworks? Li Tian introduced the new fireworks to
the city of Liuyang in Hunan Province which, to this day is the largest producer
of fireworks in the world.
Fact 11: Who invented Fireworks? Li Tian died on 690 AD but a temple was
built and dedicated to the inventor of fireworks in the Chinese city of Liu Yang
in Hunan Province. A statue of Li Tian is part of the Fireworks museum in Liu
Yang. The people of China still celebrate the invention of the firecracker and
fireworks every year on on April 18 by offering sacrifices to Li Tian and
setting off fireworks.
Fact 12: Who invented Fireworks? It was inevitable that invention of Fireworks,
and their close association with fire, that a third ingredient was added to the
mix. The third ingredient was charcoal which completed the famous
Gunpowder black powder recipe of charcoal, sulfur
and potassium nitrate.
Fact 13: Who invented Fireworks? The invention of Fireworks, that were
enjoyed during celebrations and peaceful religious rituals, therefore led to the
invention of gunpowder which was used for destruction in different types of
warfare. However, the use of fireworks were introduced to Europe by Marco Polo
and the custom of enjoying fireworks at times of great celebrations began in the
west, and continues to this day.