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Who Invented Fireworks?


Before we begin, it is still unclear how the invention of fireworks came about, but we are here to tell you what is believed by many around the world. Grab your tin foil hats, hop in our DeLorean, and we will take you back in time to the origin of fireworks!


Fireworks history dates back almost 2,000 years ago to medieval China; However, there is no set in stone proof to the exact date of fireworks. The story has it that 2,000 years ago, fireworks were discovered purely by accident, made by a Chinese cook at the time working in a field kitchen. How bizarre?

Now, I think we’re all wondering the same thing… How can you accidentally make a firework? All the cooking and mixing of ingredients we may have done in our lives and we’ve never encountered the accidental making of a firework in the process! How cool but dangerous would that be? The cook had a series of ingredients which consisted of a mixture containing charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre, which were common ingredients back in medieval China. The blend of the ingredients burned well when compressed in a bamboo tube and... BOOM! The bamboo tube exploded!


During his travels around China, explorer Marco Polo was fascinated by firecrackers. He then took it upon himself to bring these wonderful fireworks to Italy in 1292. During the Renaissance period, between the times of 1400-1500, Italians really took it upon themselves to develop and figure out the science behind the wonderful creations of fireworks.

The scientist and craftsmen in Italy soon after turned fireworks into artwork in Europe, adding many today’s inventions to the products. It was then when new colours and burst styles became common. Fireworks development, particularly of various shell types, has also continued in China. For 1,000 years, the colours of the fireworks remained almost the same until finally, with the help of chemistry, the Italian scientist was able to create different colours in the 1830s.


Yes, arriving in England in the 14th century, as colourful and as fascinating as they are, not everybody could go to the local shop and purchase fireworks as easily as we can today. Back in the day, fireworks were primarily used for royalty or those with money, but a worldwide attraction occurred and increased for fireworks, therefore firemasters began conducting shows.

Around 1730, England saw an increase in firework displays and eventually, these turned into public displays for people around the world to see rather than being used for private occasions. People used to travel all across the country just to witness a fireworks display, which explains the forever-growing love that we have for fireworks!

Thanks to the accidental discovery of a cook 2,000 years ago and a little bit of science, with firework chemicals, this is the reason why we can have fireworks and watch a beautiful display in our own back gardens! Below is an infographic of fun facts for you to take a look at, to sum up, the invention of fireworks!