The Pyrotechnics/Fireworks Industry
A Short Guide to Selected Resources
Business Reference Services
July 2004; Updated June 2013
July 4th marks the founding of the United States, and for many the day would not be complete without the evening fireworks celebration. If you've ever wondered about the origins of this custom, fireworks appear to have been associated with this day since the founding of the republic. John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776, about the declaration: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations [fireworks] from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
Below are listed selected sources for locating information
on the pyrotechnics or fireworks industry. For information
on the science of fireworks, see the links on the Library's Science
Reference Services web page, including the Everyday Mystery "How do fireworks work?"
Online Resources Print
Fireworks. Fireworks at Washington Monument I,
ca. 1920-ca. 1950.
Theodor Horydczak Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.
Reproduction number: LC-H8-CT-F02-001-A
Fireworks: NOVA Online
Fireworks: NOVA Online is produced for PBS by the WGBH
Science Unit. Wide ranging site covering history and science
of pyrotechnics, along with new high tech advances. Includes
a teacher’s guide.
Pyrotechnics Guild International
The site of Pyrotechnics Guild International, an independent
worldwide nonprofit organization of amateur and professional
fireworks enthusiasts. Site includes history of fireworks,
fireworks safety guidelines, along with links to fireworks
associations, journals, display operators, clubs, and manufacturers
American Pyrotechnics Association
According to its mission statement, the American Pyrotechnics
Association, the major US fireworks trade association, encourages
safety in the design and use of all types of fireworks, provides
industry information, and promotes responsible regulation of the
fireworks industry. The site includes links to state laws relating
to the sale and use of fireworks, as well as links to other associations
and US government agencies concerned with safety issues related
to the manufacture, transportation, or use of fireworks, As announced
on its website and that of the Occupational
Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the APA partnered
in June 2004 with the OSHA “to provide training and education
on fireworks issues. The Alliance will help provide guidance and
share APA's best practices for manufacturing, transportation, storage,
sale, and use of commercial display fireworks, and the retail sale
of consumer fireworks.”
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Fireworks Safety and Security
Includes information on federal regulations relating to fireworks record keeping and marks of identification, legal distance issues, answers to frequently asked questions, and the text of the Federal Explosive Law and Regulations. [PDF Format: 4.22 MB/ 112p.]
OSHA Assistance for the Pyrotechnics Industry.
US Dept. Of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Developed as part of the newly established Alliance between the American Pyrotechnics
Association and OSHA, the initial emphasis on these pages are on common hazards
and solutions in the retail sale and display of pyrotechnics. Issues in the
manufacture and transport of these devices are not currently addressed.
Consumer Product Safety Fireworks Information Center
Includes tips for the safe use of fireworks and links to photos and video showing the dangers of fireworks. Also included is a link to a state-by-state listing of permitted fireworks, if any, in the various states.
Chemistry of pyrotechnics : basic principles and theory by John A. Conkling and Chris Mocella.
Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, 2011. 2nd ed.
LC Call Number: TP300 .C66 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2010038207
Explosives & pyrotechnics by project director,
Teresa L. Hayes ; corporate researcher, Kelly Weinberger.
Cleveland, OH : Freedonia Group, Inc., 1998.
LC Call Number: HD9663.U62 E87
LC Catalog Record: 2004208794
International fireworks trade directory. Dingmans
Ferry, PA : American Fireworks News, c1995 - to date.
LC Call Number: HD9660.F52 I58
LC Catalog Record: 96648027
The illustrated dictionary of pyrotechnics by
K.L. and B.J. Kosanke ; Ettore Contestabile, senior editor and
contributor ; other contributors, Scot Anderson ... [et al.]. Whitewater,
CO : Journal of Pyrotechnics, c1995.
LC Call Number: TP300 .K67 1995
LC Catalog Record: 2001515641
Safety of reactive chemicals and pyrotechnics by
Tadao Yoshida, Yuji Wada, Natalie Foster, with the assistance of
Bruce J. Thomson, Jinhua Peng, Yuhua Yu. HannŻosei kagaku busshitsu
to kakŻohin no anzen. English Amsterdam : New York : Elsevier,
LC Call Number: T55.3.H3 Y6813 1995
LC Catalog Record: 95045227
Zambelli, the first family of fireworks : a story of global success by Gianni DeVincent Hayes. Forest Dale, Vt. : Paul S. Eriksson, c2003. 171 p.
LC Call Number: TP300 .D48 2003
LC Catalog Record: 98022327
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