Pyrotechnical Industry History
People who work in the pyrotechnics industry are part of a very long tradition. The first fireworks were developed approximately 1,000 years ago.
Historians have traditionally credited the Chinese with creating the earliest version of fireworks by taking gunpowder and stuffing it into bamboo cases or paper tubes. It is also possible that the first fireworks were developed in India, though.
The sound that the earliest versions of the fireworks made was loud enough that the Chinese believed that they could scare away evil spirits. The practice was adopted for many kinds of celebrations, from marking the birth of a child, to part of the Chinese funeral rituals, to weddings and the coronation of a new ruler.
Fireworks were brought to America by the early settlers, who fired black powder to celebrate holidays. When Americans celebrate Independence Day by watching fireworks displays, they are keeping a tradition alive that started the year following the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Today, fireworks are used to mark celebrations of all kinds in countries around the world, including Fourth of July celebrations in the United States.
Most people who work in the pyrotechnics industry do so as a second job, since most of them don’t get enough work to do this on a full-time basis. Despite the fact that most pyrotechnicians don’t do this as a full-time job, the industry itself has been growing steadily over the last 10 years.
The American Pyrotechnics Association reports on revenue from consumer fireworks sales and pyrotechnical displays. Taken together revenue is in the billion dollar range (in the US alone).
Most people who work in this industry are drawn to it because of the “fun” factor. They find that combining something that they enjoyed as children with a pay check to be quite fulfilling, even if they are only working on an occasional basis.