When I was a kid these kinds of fireworks were readily available
They were called Torpedoes and generally came as a silver
painted balls about three quarters of an inch in diameter.
The Classic Work by Tenney L. Davis, The Chemistry of Powder
and Explosives has a section describing the process of how
they were made back in the day. The book is still available and
is one that all aspiring pyrotechnicians, in my opinion, should
It is true that this sort of knowledge is becoming more and more
controlled by our society. Public discussion is often frowned upon
as the topic nowadays is considered "dangerous" or "far right wing
extremist" in nature. Times have changed.
They weren't available in Iowa where I grew up, but we could easily
get them by ordering by mail from Banner Fireworks Company in
Dayton, Ohio, or Rich Brothers Fireworks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,
for freight delivery in Iowa; or we could drive down to Missouri where
they could be purchased an any fireworks stand. Fireworks were
legal in Missouri but illegal in Iowa. Even so, we in Iowa had no real
difficulty in getting anything we wanted.
Correction: Banner Fireworks was in Toledo, Ohio.
The Chinese made "snappers" which are tiny pieces of gravel wrapped
in paper and twisted closed are a different composition, usually a tiny
pinch of Silver Fulminate in with the pieces of gravel. Very tiny.
Edited by SeaMonkey, 24 March 2020 - 11:03 PM.