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SCIENCE: First Fireworks Created In Chinese Search for Immortality

fireworks - pixabay

One thousand years before the first Fourth of July, the first fireworks exploded. It didn’t rain twinkling stars or light up the night sky — but to the complete surprise and misfortune of one Chinese chemist, it did go “bang.” This “bang” was the product of an ancient quest for immortality, according to Gunpowder, Explosives and the State: A History (Routledge, 2016) . In early-ninth-century China, alchemy was all the rage. The goal of alchemy was to produce a substance that would prolong life, or even cheat death. Alchemy never did uncover a death-defying concoction. But it did produce an … Read more