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Gunpowder (Fireworks)

Gunpowder was invented in China, probably during the 1000's. Gunpowder is composed of about 75 percent saltpeter (potassium nitrate), 15 percent powdered charcoal, and 10 percent sulphur.

The Chinese used gunpowder to make fireworks and for signal flares. Gunpowder was also thought to have uses in medicine and in alchemy (the "science" of trying to change non-precious elements into gold). Soon after its invention, the Chinese used gunpowder for weapons (which they called fire arrows). Fire rockets were made by filling capped bamboo tubes with gunpowder and iron bits (shrapnel). These lethal weapons were attached to an arrow, lit, and shot from a bow. These were the first solid-fuel rockets. The Chinese used them to fight the invading Mongol hordes.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1300's and Earlier 1400's 1500's 1600's 1700's 1801-1850 1851-1900 1901-1950 1951-2000
Clothing Communication Food Fun Medicine Science/Industry Transportation Undersea
African-Americans Women British Isles China France Germany Greece Italy Scandinavia USA/Canada
Guidelines on Writing a Report on an Invention





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