Learn the history of Fireworks with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.A Chinese book from 850 CE, called Classified Essentials of the Mysterious Tao of the True Origin of Things, warns the reader that if sulphur, realgar and saltpetre are heated with honey, they produce smoke and flames. Thus begins the history of artificially made fire. Taoism permeates every facet of Chinese society. Lao Tzu introduced Taoist thought in the sixth-century BCE as a purely philosophical discipline. Its centrality to Chinese society led it to have an effect on all intellectual pursuits, including alchemy, which led to the development of gunpowder in the eighth-century CE and, subsequently, fireworks as we know them today.
With a few adjustments to the original concoction, alchemists through the ages settled on the ingredients of gunpowder as saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal. Saltpetre was easy to access, as it appeared as a white crust on certain soils.
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Prometheus, the Greek Titan, was punished by the gods for bringing fire to humanity. Not far behind Prometheus have been a string of 12-year-old boys who have been punished by their fathers for their use of fireworks. This tiny audiobook produced by iMinds is a fun and fascinating glimpse into the history of fireworks - from their listing in a Chinese book in A.D. 850 to their powerful incarnation as gunpowder. Much of this listen is devoted to the ingredients of gunpowder. Beware the 12-year-old boy armed with this audiobook and a garage full of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal.
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