Page images

fore the scroll of paper just mentioned, and it is the calibres from a pound to 100 pounds bullet. entirely wound upon the roller, the part of the pa For making the cartridges, large stiff paper is per that is then between being quite opaque, no employed. This paper is wrapped round the part of the cascade will be visible; but, as the roller, and then cemented by means of common winch is turned gently and regularly round, the paste. The thickness of the paper, when rolled transparent part of the paper will give to the up in this manner, ought to be about one-eighth cascade the appearance of fire that descends in and a half of the calibre of the mould, accordthe same direction; and the illusion will be so ing to the proportion given to the diameter of the strong that the spectators will think they see roller. But, if the diameter of the roller be made a cascade of fire, especially if the figure be equal to three-fourths the calibre of the mould, judiciously cut out.

the thickness of the cartridge must be a twelfth

and a half of that calibre. When the cartridge PART II.

is formed, the roller is drawn out, by turning it OF ROCKETS.

round, until it is distant from the edge of the carSect. I.-CONSTRUCTION OF THE CASES,

tridge the length of its diameter. A piece of

cord is then made to pass twice round the carRockets may be regarded as the grand basis of tridge at the extremity of the roller. And into all fire-works, which are little more than modifi- the vacuity left in the cartridge another roller cations of their form, and of the materials of is introduced, so as to leave some space bewhich they usually consist. A rocket is a car- tween the two. One end of the pack-thread tridge or case made of stiff paper, which being must be fastened to something fixed, and the filled in part with gunpowder, saltpetre, and other to a stick conveyed between the legs, and charcoal, rises of itself into the air, when fire is placed in such a manner as to be behind the applied to it.

person who chokes the cartridge. The cord is There are three sorts of rockets : small ones then to be stretched by retiring backwards, and the calibre of which does not exceed a pound the cartridge must be pinched until there remains bullet; that is to say, the orifice of them is equal only an aperture capable of admitting the piercer. to the diameter of a leaden bullet which weighs The cord employed for pinching it is then reonly a pound; for the calibres or orifices of the moved, and its place is supplied by a piece of moulds or the models used in making rockets pack-thread, which must be drawn very tight, are measured by the diameters of leaden bullets. passing it several times round the cartridge, after Middle sized rockets, equal to the size of a ball which it is secured by means of running knots of from one to three pounds. And large rockets, made one above the other. equal to a ball of from three to 100 pounds. Besides the roller, a rod is used, which being

To give the cartridges the same length and employed to load the cartridge, must be somethickness, in order that any number of rockets what smaller than the roller, in order that it may may be prepared of the same size and force, be easily introduced into the cartridge. The rod they are put into a hollow cylinder of strong is pierced lengthwise, to a sufficient depth to rewood, called a mould. This mould is sometimes ceive the piercer, which must enter into the of metal; but at any rate it ought to be made of mould, and unite with it exactly at its lower some very hard wood. This mould must not be part. The piercer, which decreases in size, is inconfounded with another piece of wood, called troduced into the cartridge through the part the former or roller, around which is rolled the where it has been choked, and serves to prethick paper employed to make the cartridge. If serve a cavity within it. Its length, besides the the calibre of the mould be divided into eight nipple or button, must be equal to about twoequal parts, the diameter of the roller must be thirds that of the mould. Lastly, if the thickequal to five of these parts. The vacuity be ness of the base be a fourth part of the calibre tween the roller and the interior surface of the of the mould, the point must be made equal to a mould, that is 10 say three-eighths of the calibre sixth of the calibre. It is evident there must be of the mould, will be exactly filled by the car at least three rods, pierced in proportion to the tridge.

diminution of the piercer, in order that the powAs rockets are made of different sizes, moulds der which is rammed in by means of a mallet, of different lengths and diameters must be pro- may be uniformly packed throughout the whole vided. The calibre of a cannon is nothing else length of the rocket. It may be easily perceived, than the diameter of its mouth; and we here also, that these rods ought to be made of some apply the same term to the diameter of the aper- very hard wood, to resist the strokes of the ture of the mould. The size of the mould is mallet. measured by its calibre ; but the length of the In loading rockets it is more convenient not to moulds for different rockets does not always bear employ a piercer. When loaded on a nipple, the same proportion to the calibre, the length without a piercer, by means of one massy rod, being diminished as the calibre is increased. The they are pierced with a bit and a piercer fitted length of the mould for small rockets ought to into the end of a bit-brace. Care however must be six times the calibre, but for rockets of the be taken to make this hole suited to the propormean and larger size it will be sufficient if the tion assigned for the diminution of the piercer. length of the mould be five times or four times That is to say, the extremity of the hole, at the the calibre of the moulds. We shall give two choked part of the cartridge, ought to be atout tables, one of which contains the calibres of a fourth of the calibre of the mould; and the moulds below a pound bullet; and the other extremity of the hole which is in the inside fo:

about two-thirds of the length of the rocket tin-plate, filled with fine gunpowder, placed on ought to be a sixth of the calibre. This hole the summit

. The petard is deposited on the commust pass directly through the middle of the position, at the end where it has been filled; rocket. In short, experience and ingenuity will and the remaining paper of the cartridge is folded suggest what is most convenient, and in what down over it to keep it firm.

The petard promanner the method of loading rockets, which we duces its effect when the rocket is in the air and shall here explain, may be varied.

the composition is consumed. After the cartridge is placed in the mould, Stars, golden rain, serpents, saucissons, and pour gradually into it the prepared composition; several other amusing things, may also, as we taking care to pour only two spoonfuls at a time, have seen, be added to them.

This is done by and to ram it immediately down with the rod, adjusting to the head of the rocket, an empty striking it in a perpendicular direction with a pot or cartridge, much larger than the rocket, in mallet of a proper size, and giving an equal order that it may contain serpents, stars, and number of strokes, for example, three or four various other appendages, to render it more beaueach time that a new quantity of the composition tiful. is poured in. When the cartridge is about half Rockets may be made to rise into the air filled, separate with a bodkin the half of the without rods. For this purpose four wings must folds of the paper which remains, and, having be attached to them in the form of a cross, and turned them back on the composition, press similar to those seen on arrows or darts. In them down with the rod and a few strokes of the length, these wings must be equal to two-thirds mallet, in order to compress the paper on the that of the rocket; their breadth towards the composition. Then pierce three or four holes bottom should be half their length, and their in the folded paper, by means of a piercer, thickness ought to be equal to that of a card. which must be made to penetrate to the compo- But this method of making rockets ascend is less sition of the rocket. These holes serve to form certain, and more inconvenient, than that where a communication between the body of the rocket a rod is used ; and for this reason it is rarely emand the vacuity at the extremity of the cartridge, ployed. or that part which has been left empty.

We shall now show the method of finding the In small rockets this vacuity is filled with gra- diameters or calibre of rockets, according to nulated powder, which serves to let them off: their weight; but we must first observe that a they are then covered with paper, and pinched pound rocket is that just capable of admitting a in the same manner as at the other extremity. But leaden bullet of a pound weight, and so of the in other rockets, the pot containing stars, ser rest. The calibre for the different sizes may be pents, and running rockets, is adapted to it, as found by the two following tables, one of which will be shown hereafter. It may be sufficient is calculated for rockets of a pound weight and however to make, with a bit or piercer, only one below; and the other for those from a pound hole, which must be neither too large nor too weight to fifty pounds. small, such as a fourth part of the diameter of the rocket, to set fire to the powder, taking care I. TABLE of the calibre of moulds of a pound that this hole be as straight as possible, and ex

weight and below actly in the middle of the composition. A little of the composition of the rocket must be put into these holes, that the fire may not fail to be Ounces. Lines. Drachms. Lines, communicated to it. It now remains to fix the rocket to its rod,

16 191 14 which is done in the following manner : -When


7 the rocket has been constructed as above de


63 scribed, make fast to it a rod of light wood, such

7 141 8 as fir or willow, broad and flat at the end next

6 141

59 the rocket, and decreasing towards the other. It


43 must be as straight and free from knots as pos

12} 2 sible, and ought to be dressed, if necessary, with

11) a plane. Its length and weight must be propor

91 tioned to the rocket; that is to say, it ought to be six, seven, or eight feet long, so as to remain in equilibrium with it, when suspended on the finger, within an inch, or an inch and a half of The use of this table will be understood the neck. Before it is fired, place it with the merely by inspection; for it is evident that a neck downwards, and let it rest on two nails, in rocket of twelve ounces ought to be seventeen a direction perpendicular to the horizon. To lines in diameter; one of eight ounces, fifteen make it ascend straighter and to a greater height, lines; one of ten drachms, six lines and one-third ; adapt to its summit a pointed cap or top, made and so of the rest. On the other hand, if the of common paper, which will serve to facilitate diameter of the rocket be given, it will be easy its passage through the air.

to find the weight of the ball corresponding to These rockets, in general, are made in a more that calibre. For example, if the diameter be complex manner, several other things being thirteen lines, it will be immediately seen, by added to them to render them more agreeable, looking for that number in the column of lines, such for example as a petard, which is a box of that it corresponds to a ball of five ounces.



5 4 3 2 1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The use of the second table is as follows :—If the choose, half an ounce of sulphur; or to one weight of the ball be given, which we shall suppose pound two ounces and a half of gunpowder add to be twenty-four pounds, seek for that number four ounces of saltpetre and two ounces of charin the column of pounds, and opposite to it, in coal; or to a pound of powder add four ounces the column of calibres, will be found the number of saltpetre and one ounce of charcoal; or to 288. Then say, as 100 is to nineteen and a half seventeen ounces of gunpowder add four ounces so is 288 to a fourth term, which will be the of saltpetre and the same quantity of charcoal ; number of lines of the calibre required ; or or to three ounces and a half of gunpowder add multiply the nuinber found, that is 288, by nine- ten ounces of saltpetre and three ounces and a teen and a half, and from the product, 56.16, cut half of charcoal. But the composition will be off the last two figures : the required calibre strongest if to ten ounces of gunpowder you add therefore will be 56-16 lines, or four inches eight three ounces and a half of saltpetre and three lines.

ounces of charcoal. On the other hand, the calibre being given in For a rocket of five or six ounces.-To two lines, the weight of the ball may be found with pounds five ounces of gunpowder add half a equal ease: if the calibre, for example, be pound of saltpetre, two ounces of sulphur, six twenty-eight lines, say as nineteen and a half is ounces of charcoal, and two ounces of iron to twenty-eight so is 100 to a fourth term, which filings. will be 143.5 or nearly 144. But in the above For rockets of seven or eight ounces. -To table, opposite to 144 in the second column, will seventeen ounces of gunpowder add four ounces be found the number three in the first; which of saltpetre and three ounces of sulphur. shows that a rocket, the diameter or calibre of For rockets of from eight to ten ounces.-To which is twenty-eight lines, is a rocket of a three two pounds and five ounces of gunpowder add pounds ball.

half a pound of saltpetre, two ounces of sulphur, Sect. II.-COMPOSITION OF THE POWDER FOR iron filings.

seven ounces of charcoal, and three ounces of ROCKETS, AND THE MODE OF FILLING THEM.

For rockets of from ten to twelve ounces.

-To The composition of the powder for rockets seventeen ounces of gunpowder add four ounces must be different, according to the different of saltpetre, three ounces and a half of sulphur, sizes; as that proper for small rockets would be and one ounce of charcoal. to strong for large ones. This is a fact respect For rockets of from fourteen to fifteen ounces. ing wbich almost all the makers of fire-works -To two pounds four ounces of gunpowder add are agreed. The quantities of the ingredients nine ounces of saltpetre, three ounces of sulphur, which experience has shown to be the best are five ounces of charcoal, and three ounces of iron as follow :

filings. For rockets capable of containing one or two For rockets of one pound. - To one pound of ounces of composition. To one pound of gun- gunpowder add one ounce of sulphur and three powder add two ounces of soft charcoal ; or to one ounces of charcoal. pound of gunpowder a pound of the coarse For a rocket of two pounds.—To one pound powder used for cannon; or to pine ounces of four ounces of gunpowder add two ounces of gunpowder two ounces of charcoal ; or to a saltpetre, one ounce of sulphur, three ounces of pound of gunpowder an ounce and a half of charcoal, and two ounces of iron filings. saltpetre, and as much charcoal.

For a rocket of three pounds.- To thirty ounces Por rockets of two or three ounces.—To four of saltpetre add seven ounces and a half of sulounces of gunpowder add an ounce of charcoal; phur and eleven ounces of charcoal. or to nine ounces of gunpowder add two ounces For rockets of four, five, sir, or seven pounds. of saltpetre.

-To thirty-one pounds of saltpetre add four For a rocket of fou ounces. To four pounds pounds and a half of sulphur and ten pounds of of gunpowder add a pound of saltpetre and four charcoal. cunces of charcoal : you may add also, if you For rockets of eight, nine, or ten pounds.


To eight pounds of saltpetre add one pound four small balls of paper, and the pot covered with

of sulphur and two pounds twelve paper cemented to its edges : let a pointed sumounces of charcoal.

mit be added to it, and the rocket is fit for use. We shall here observe, that these ingredients We shall now give an account of the different must be each pounded separately and sifted; artifices with which such rockets are loaded. they are then to be weighed and mixed together, 1. Of serpents.-Serpents are small flying for the purpose of loading the cartridges, which rockets without rods, which, instead of rising in a ought to be kept ready in the moulds. The car- perpendicular direction, mount obliquely, and tridges must be made of strong paper, doubled, fall back in a zig-zag form without ascending to and cemented by means of strong paste, made of a great height. The composition of them is fine flour and very pure water.

nearly the same as that of rockets; and therefore Of Mutches.-Before we proceed farther it nothing more is necessary than to determine the will be proper to describe the composition of the proportion and construction of the cartridge, matches necessary for letting the rockets off which is as follows :—The length of the cartridge Take linen, hemp, or cotton thread, and double may be about four inches; it must be rolled it eight 'or ten times, if intended for large round a stick somewhat larger than the barrel of rockets; or only four or five times, if to be em a goose-quill, and, after being choked at one of ployed for stars. When the match has been thus its ends, fill it with the composition a little bemade as large as necessary, dip it in pure water, yond its middle, and then pinch it so as to leave and press it between your hands, to free it from a small aperture. The remainder must be filled the moisture. Mix some gunpowder with a little with grained powder, which will make a report water, to reduce it to a sort of paste, and immerse when it bursts. Lastly, choke the cartridge enthe match in it, turning and twisting it till it has tirely towards the extremity; and at the other imbibed a sufficient quantity of the powder; extremity place a train of moist powder, to which, then sprinkle over it a little dry powder, or strew if fire be applied, it will be communicated to the some pulverised dry powder upon a smooth composition, and cause the whole to rise in the board, and roll the match over it. By these air. The serpent, as it falls, will make several means you will have an excellent match; which turns in a zig-zag direction, till the fire is comif dried in the sun, or on a rope in the shade, municated to the grained powder; on which it will be fit for use.

will burst with a loud report before it falls to the

ground. Sect. III.-FORMATION OF Rockets.

If the serpent be not choked towards the midThe upper part of rockets is generally fur- dle, instead of moving in a zig-zag direction, it nished with some composition, which takes fire will ascend and descend with an undulating mowhen it has reached to its greatest height, emits tion, and then burst as before. The cartridges of a considerable blaze, or produces a loud report serpents are generally made with playing cards. and whizzing noise. Of this kind are saucissons, These cards are rolled round a rod of iron or maroons, stars, showers of fire, &c To make hard wood, a little larger, as already said, than room for an artifice of this kind, the rocket the barrel of a goose-quill

. To confine the card, is crowned with a part of greater ' diameter a piece of strong paper is cemented over it. The called a pot.

The following is the method of length of the mould must be proportioned to making this pot, and connecting it with the that of the cards employed, and the piercer of rocket :

the nipple must be three or four lines in length. The mould for forming the pot, though of one These serpents are loaded with bruised powder, piece, must consist of two cylindric parts of mixed only with a very small quantity of chardifferent diameters. That on which the pot is coal. To introduce the composition into the rolled up must be three diameters of the rocket cartridge, a quill, cut into the form of a spoon, in length, and its diameter must be three-fourths may be employed; it must be rammed down by that of the rocket; the length of the other ought means of a small rod, to which a few strokes are to be equal to two of these diameters, and its given with a small mallet. diameter to seven-fifths that of the rocket. Having When the serpent is half loaded, instead of rolled the thick paper, intended for making the pinching it in that part, you may introduce into pot, twice round the cylinder, a portion of it it a vetch seed, and place granulated powder must be pinched in that part of the cylinder above it to fill up the remainder. Above this which has the least diameter: this part must be powder place a small pellet of chewed paper, pared in such a manner as to leave only what is and then choke the other end of the cartridge. necessary for making the pot fast to the top of If you are desirous of making larger serpents, the rocket, and the ligature must be covered with cement two playing cards together; and, that paper.

they may be managed with more ease, moisten To charge such a pot, attached to a rocket. them a little with water. The match consists of Having pierced three or four holes in the double a paste made of bruised powder, and a small paper which covers the vacuity of the rocket, quantity of water. pour over it a small quantity of the composition 2. Marroons.-Marroons are small cubical with which the rocket is filled, and by shaking boxes, filled with a composition proper for it make a part enter these holes; then arrange, making them burst, and may be constructed with in the pot, the composition with which it is to be great ease. charged, taking care not to introduce into it a Cut a piece of pasteboard, according to the quantity vier than the body of the rocket. method taught in geometry to form the cube ; The whole must be secured by means of a few join these squares at the edges, leaving only one


to be cemented, and fill the cavity of the cube of pulverised gunpowder. When these materials with grained powder; then cement strong paper have been well sifted, besprinkle them with in various directions over this body; and wrap brandy, in which a little gum lias been dissolved, round it two rows of pack-thread, dipped in and then make up the star in the following manstrong glue; then make a hole in one of the cor er :-Take a rocket mould, eight or nine lines ners, and introduce into it a match. If you are in diameter, and introduce into it a nipple, the desirous to have luminous marroons, that is to piercer of which is of a uniform size throughout, say, marroons which, before they burst in the and equal in length to the height of the mould. air, emit a brilliant light, cover them with a paste Put into this mould a cartridge, and by means of the composition of which will be given hereafter a pierced rod load it with one of the preceding for stars ; and roll them in pulverised gunpowder compositions ; when loaded, take it from the to serve as a match or communication.

mould, without removing the nipple, the piercer 3. Saucissons.—Marroons and saucissons differ of which passes through the composition, and from each other only in their form. The car then cut the cartridge quite round into pieces of tridges of the latter are round, and must be only the thickness of three or four lines. The carfour times their exterior diameter in length. tridge being thus cut, draw out the piercer They are choked at one end in the same manner gently, and the pieces, which resemble the men as a rocket; and a pellet of paper is driven into employed for playing at drafts, pierced through the aperture which has been left, in order to fill the middle, will be stars, which must be filed it up. They are then charged with grained on a match thread, which, if you choose, may be powder, above which is placed a ball of paper covered with tow. gently pressed down, to prevent the powder from To give more brilliancy to stars of this kind, being bruised; the second end of the saucisson a cartridge thicker than the above dimensions, being afterwards choked, the edges are pared and thinner than that of a flying rocket of the on both sides, and the whole is covered with same size, may be employed; but, before it is several turns of pack-thread, dipped in strong cut into pieces, five or six holes must be pierced glue, and then left to dry. When you are de- in the circumference of each piece to be cut. sirous of charging them, pierce a hole in one of When the cartridge is cút, and the pieces have the ends, and apply a match, in the same man been filled, cement over the composition small ner as marroons.

bits of card, each having a hole in the middle, 4. Stars.--Stars are small globes of a compo so that these holes may correspond to the place sition which emits a brilliant light, which may where the composition is pierced. be compared to the light of the stars in the hea Remarks.—i. There are several other methods vens. These balls are not larger than a nutmeg of making stars, which it would be too tedious or musket bullet, and when put into the rockets to describe. We shall therefore only show how must be wrapped up in tow, prepared for that to make étoiles à pet, or stars which give a report purpose. The composition of these stars is as as loud as that of a pistol or musket. Make follows :-To a pound of fine gunpowder well small saucissons, as taught in the third section ; pulverised add four pounds of saltpetre, and two only it will not be necessary to cover them with. pounds of sulphur. "When these ingredients are pack-thread : it will be sufficient if they are thoroughly incorporated, take about the size of a pierced at one end, in order that you may tie to nutmeg of this mixture, and having wrapt it up in it a star constructed according to the first method, a piece of linen rag, or of paper, form it into a the composition of which is dry; for, if the comball; then tie it closely round with a packthread, position be in the form of a paste, there will be and pierce a hole through the middle of it, suffi- no need to tie it. Nothing will be necessary in ciently large to receive a piece of prepared tovr, that case but to leave a little more of the paper which will serve as a match. This star, when hollow at the end of the saucisson which has lighted, will exhibit a most beautiful appearance; been pierced, for the purpose of introducing the besides the fire, as it issues from the two ends of composition; and to place in the vacuity, tothe hole in the middle, will extend to a greater wards the neck of the saucisson, some grained distance, and make it appear much larger. powder, which will communicate fire to the sau

If you are desirous to employ a moist compo- cisson when the composition is consumed. sition in the form of a paste, instead of a dry 2. As there are some stars which in the end one, it will not be necessary to wrap up the become petards, others may be made which shall star in any thing but prepared tow; because, conclude with becoming serpents. But this may when made of such paste, it can retain its sphe- be so easily conceived and carried into execution rical figure. There will be no need also of that it would be losing time to enlarge further piercing a hole in it, to receive the match; be on the subject. We shall only observe that these cause, when newly made, and consequently stars are not in use, because it is difficult for a moist, it may be rolled in pulverised gunpowder, rocket to carry them to a considerable height in which willadhere to it. This powder,when kindled, the air : they diminish the effect of the rocket will serve as a match, and inflame the composi- or saucisson, and much time is required to make tion of the star, which in falling will form itself them. into tears.

Sect. IV.-OF COURANTINS OR ROCKETS Another method of making rockets with stars.

WHICH FLY ALONG A Rope. Mix three ounces of saltpetre, with one ounce of sulphur, and two drachms of pulverised gun A common rocket, which however ought not powder; or mix four ounces of sulphur with to be very large, may be made to run al ing an the same quantity of saltpetre and eight ounces extended rope. For this purpose affix to the

« PreviousContinue »