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Fireworks Museum
Come in and see our newly re-designed Fireworks Museum! It is filled with fun facts and interesting samples of old fireworks!
Lotus Fireworks Co Museum Showroom 1.Lotus Fireworks Co Museum Showroom 2.
The story of fireworks is a chapter in man's romantic celebration of his patriotism and social joy in his part in the saga of history. From the invention, or the re-discovery, of gunpowder to modern times, man has used illuminations and fireworks to express patriotic fever, to mark historical milestones, and simply to have the social and public enjoyment of the spectacular extravaganza which fireworks displays provide.

The following exhibit of fireworks from the past 150 years is a fascinating summary of the inspirational and practical-technical aspects of fireworks in our American culture and prudent and responsible aspects are provided to encourage and ensure the perpetuation and social acceptance of one man's more delightful and exciting "art forms".

Emerson Jacob
Ph. D. in History

Wanted -- Old Fireworks and Related Items!

Top Prices paid for spent and unspent consumer "legal type" fireworks before 1960

We wish to thank the people and collectors who donated or gave permission to use their photos of many of the following antique fireworks displayed in our online museum exhibit. We cannot except any type of illegal item for considerations. If you wish to learn more about fireworks and their history, feel free to send us your inquiries to:
Lotus Fireworks Museum Inc.
543 Station Rd.
Grantville, PA 17028

 Pictured above: A selection of Chinese cracker labels circa 1930-40’s


 Pictured above: One of Tipp’s Trucks loading in front of warehouse. (Circa 1924)

 Pictured above: 1924 Scene at Tipp Fireworks Co. in Tippecanoe City, Ohio

 Pictured above: N.Y. City Pains Fireworks Advertisement (Circa 1900)

 Pictured above: Old Gunpowder Tin-Type from 1880’s. Advertisement states “1 pound of loose black powder 90 cents”. These were made to be displayed in General Stores across America.

Pictured above: Box of 1 ” crackers; (Rocket Brand) 1930’s Taiwan. Rare to the collector!

Pictured above: Complete pack of 1 ” crackers “Space Age Brand” ca. 1950’s. Macau. Scarce to the collector.

Pictured above: Unexcelled “Rocket Ship Brand” 1 ”, 16 in a pack, 1930’s. Very Rare – Notice heavy waterproof wrapping.

Pictured above: “Thunda Flash” Brand. Very rare – 30’s to 40’s. Pack of 16/ 1 ” crackers. Excellent condition!

Pictured above: Very Rare Novelty Aerial Fireworks from Triumph Co. Early 20’s. Over 6” in length. Very cool item!


Above: "Wind-up toy that shoots out sparks" Circa: Late 1930s 

Above: Two early 20th century Fireworks catalogs 1908 Maston & Wells, Boston & International Fireworks Co. 1927. Jersey City, NJ. Rare!
Above: Chang Brand – 100 count 1 1/2 “ crackers rare to the collector
 – circa 1940’s

Above: Mikado Torpedoes – MFG in Japan – circa 1920’s;
very rare to the collector

Devil Brand – “cannon crackers”, 3” 10-pack – 1930’s to 40’s

Above: Bottle rockets in missle format, late 50s

Above: Jumbo special pack, 1-11/16" crackers
rare, late 30s - early 40s

Above: Parcel of fountains from the Canadian Market,
circo 1890s

Above: Fountain & 1-5/8" cracker pack from the Canadian market,
circa 1950s

Above: Rare brick label from the 50s, 1-1/2" crackers

Buck You.
Buck You More.
Above: Buck Roger's salutes, rare from the 1930s
(Only 2 known in existence)
1936 – Buster Crabbe and Constance Moore starring

Above: Pack of 1-1/2" 16's from the 50s

2" 20s pack from the 40s "Canada"

Above: Pack of 1-1/2" crackers from the 40s

Above: Pack of 16s 1-1/2" crackers from the 40s

Above: Unauthorized Japaense product from the late 40s
(Walt would be rolling in the grave if he knew about this one!)

Shown Above: Hirayama Day Shell, 6"
Japanese Imperial Fireworks (US Pat. August 7th, 1883). As you can see the pacific rim countries were largely responsible for developing and perfecting round display shells. Europeans used primarily canned-type shells which do not provide a spherical burst pattern.

Close-up of Packaging:
Hunter Packaging.

Above: Being a collector of old pyrotechnic collectibles, how would you like to stumble across three wooden cases of Hunter Brand Flashlight Crackers from the late 1930s to early 40s? Two cases of 1-1/2" and one case of 1-5/8" crackers. According to the outer wrapping, the port of entry was San Francisco. ICC was used as far back as 1936.

Triumph Cracker.
Triumph Cracker 2.

Above: Scarce “Triumph” Cannon Cracker MFG. by St. Louis Fireworks Co., circa 1890’s. (Interesting to note: It is reported that some home builders in the 1800’s would place one of the cannon crackers in the walls of the homes they were building so in case of a serious fire the occupants would sure to be alerted.) It has written in old script on one side “December 20th 1899, Mulberry, Ark. Maybe someone also was going to help bring in the new century? 

Compliments of Sarah R.


Unexcelled Firework Co. circa 1880’s.  6 oz. to 8 Pound Exhibition Rockets, 1 Large Prismatic Whirlwind, #2 and #3 Geysers

2 Vertical Wheels 10” and Extra Large, 4 Humming Birds, 3 Small Gold & Silver Wheel, 1 Revolving Spider, 4 – 1 oz. to 1 pound Triangle Wheels, 2 Good Year Cracker Boxes.  1 Box of Snakes in the Grass.  1 Kaleidoscope Cone


5 Medium to Mammoth Ground Spike Aerolite Fountains.  Electric Volcano, Rainbow Fountain.  6 Star Floral Fountain.  National Colors Fountain and Fountain of Pearls.  3 Ball to 30 Ball Roman Candles.  2 - #6 & #10 Flower Pots, 1 Position Lite, 1 Silver Gerb, #10 Green Torch.  8 Ball to 10 Ball Prismatic Candles***
1 doz. 36” Parade Sparklers, 2”, 3” & 5” Flash Salutes, One 2” Buster Salutes, 1 #3 Aerial Flash Bomb, 4 – medium to mammoth Devil Among the Tailors, 4 – medium to mammoth Dragon Nests, 2 – 10 Cent Box Fire
No. 6, 7, 8, & 9 Color Mines
Large, Extra Large & Mammoth Jack-in-the-Box
Square Bombs.
Standard Fireworks of India has been around since the 1860’s.  It was originally an offshoot of a British Company.  The USA doesn’t import many fireworks from India, especially consumer fireworks, due to their potency.  The above advertised “Square Bombs” were quite devastating.
Super Atomic.
Super Atomic Brand
2" x 10 Pack, Early 1950's
Made in Portuguese, Macau
Scarce to Collectors!
Early 5" Salute
"Inert" From the Late 1890's
UnXLD Company
"Ripper" Wonder Where They Got This Name From?!!!!!!
UnXLD Board.
UnXLD Window.
Inert 1920's Store Display Board
Unexcelled Fireworks Company
Staten Island, NY. The collector of this rare grouping said that the sole remaining owner of the company stated that this board came from the original store in lower Manhattan, NY when it finally went out of business before WWII.
Triumph Board.
Salesman's Display
Items (inert) from Triumph Fuses & Fireworks Company
Elkton, MD
Started by Ben Decker in 1933. Decker also iniated Victory Fireworks in 1922. Both companies were short lived lasting only a decade or so. They also manufactured war items for the US military. Products from these companies are on the scarce side.
Triumph Rocket.

A "first" in the industry...
Is this example of a "winged" rocket!
Triumph Company, credited with placing fireworks into this rocket configuration. Rare!!!

Inert Rare Display of Colored Display Rockets from the 1880's
Shown here is an amazing salesman's display board of a selection of four to eight pound special effects rockets, circa 1880's, from America's first fireworks company founded in Rochester, NY in 1836. A grouping of to include 8lb. Diamond Rocket, 4lb. Willow Tree Shower Rocket, 6lb. Shooting Star Rocket, 6lb. Jeweled Streamer Rocket, 8lb. Prize Comet Rocket, 4lb. Electric Shower Rocket, 4lb. Shooting Star Rocket, 4lb. Jeweled Streamer Rocket, and a 4lb. Cornucopia Rocket.
Compliments of Barry Zecca foremost fireworks historian, enthusiast, and collector of American Pyrotechnics.
Inert Pictured here are four old timers from the past...
Cannon Salute Rocket
Mfg. by National Fireworks Co. 1907-1927 Hanover, Mass.
Star Serpents Gold Rain Rockets Pat. March 14th 1874
Company Unknown
Dragon Rocket
Excelsior Mfg. NY., 1880


1 Pound unusual designed rocket
Circa 1880.
"So that's where NASA got their booster rocket design!"

Old Rockets.
(Above) American Sky Rockets (1930s - 1970s)
United, Unexcelled, Longhorn, N.J. Fireworks Co. & Monarck Co., Texas
Old Crackers.
Inert (Above) Rare 1890s Salutes
Bunker Hill Salute - Reg. 1898
X-Ray - Pat. 1897
"I wasn't aware Madam C. was into fireworks!"
Devil On Walk.
(Above) A very interesting obscure item from the
Essex Co., (1930's) New Jersey Factory (Only in business a few years)
"Once a Cobbler's worst nightmare, these relics are safest being antique!"
China Boy.
(Above) 1930's - Li Toming & Co., Scarce, Made in China
Georgia Boy.
(Above) Copyright 1949, Made in Macau
"A scarce one to collect!"
A Blast from Our Past!
Old Rocket.
Old Rocket 2.
Old Rocket 3.
You are looking at one of the rarest - American manufactured devices collected today. A spent two pound Willow Tree Rocket casing manufactured by the Excelsior Manufacturing Company - Detwiller & Street - in New York (1840-1860).
Notice the old European rocket design. Missing is about a three foot long balance stick that would have been attached before flight. A longer, more cone, design fell into fashion during and after the 1860's. These newer style nose cones were made of heavy paper or wood.
Recognize this World Famous Pop Star?
Rare "Thriller" Fountains from the 90's
Light these and "Beat It"!
The following items are parcels and bricks of 1-1/2" and 2" crackers from the 1950's - 1980's.

Mad Rat and Gangster.
Mad Rat Brand - Made in China for Mike's Fireworks
Circa 1970's and 80's
Gangster Brand - "Buckeye" - Dearfield, Ohio
Circa 1970's and 80's
Lady Manhattan and Panda.
Lady Manhattan Brand - Manufactured by Foshan, Guangdong, China
Circa 1970's and 80's
Pandas Select - "Super Charged" - Distributed by A&W Sales Co., Muncy, PA
Circa 1970's and 80's

Giraffe and Camel.
Giraffe Brand - Made in China
Circa 1950's and 60's

Camel Brand - Wang Yick Fireworks Co., Made in Macau
Circa 1950's and 60's

Superior and OK.
2" Superior Mandarin - "Flying Fairy Brand" - Made in China
Circa 1950's

OK Brand - Made in Macau - Po Sing Firecracker Factory
Circa 1960's and 70's

Zebra Brand (5/800 Strips) - Li & Fung LTD - Hong Kong, China
Circa 1970's
thru 90's
Superman Dragon Red Devil.
Superman Brand 1/2 Brick - Made in China for Buckeye Fireworks Co., Ohio
Circa 1980's

Flying Dragon Brand (5/400 Strips) - Made in China
Circa 1980's thru 90's

Red Devil Brand 1/2 Brick - Made in China
Circa 1970's and 80's

Great Wall Island Dragon Chinese Junk.
Great Wall, Island Dragon and Chinese Junk - Made in Guangxi, China
40 Strips of 50's
Circa 1980's

Auction Find.
"A recent discovery from the Forties"
15 Packs of 80 x 7/8" Lady Crackers "Warrior Brand" Strips
14 Packs of Blue Ribbon Brand "Red, White and Blue Colored Firecracker Salutes
Large Box of Paper Coned Report Bottle Flyers "Peacock Brand"
1 Red Devil Silver Rain Fountain
1 Comet Chaser Whistles Zig Zag with Report
3 - 20 Ball Rozzi's Roman Candles
All items are fused with black Match
Courtesy of Cordier Auctions, Harrisburg, PA
Post Cards.
Post Card.
A selection of vintage postcards from the early 1900's
Cats Brand.
From Top Left - Clockwise
Cats Brand - 7/8" x 1/6" Lady Fingers - Macau - "A small chap with a loud voice"
Home Run Brand - Penny Pack - 1/4" x 1/8" (Rare)
Big Boy Brand - Tai Lee Kong - Penny Pack
Flying Wheel.
From Left
Flying Wheel Brand - 16 x 1-1/2" - Yick Loong Co. Macau - 1940's
Jumbo (Special) - Kee Chong Hong - 1-11/16" x 16s - Macau - 1930's
Fairy Brand.
From Left
Fairy Brand - Sam Yik Saikee Tai Leung - Outside of North Gate Right! Made in China - 1930's
Dragon Phoenix Brand - Lady Crackers - Made in China - 1930's
Jungle Brand.
From Left
Jungle Brand - 1-1/2" x 40 - Made in China - 1920's
Wise Man Brand - 3 1/8" x 2-5/8" Class 1 - 1920's
Sea Horse Brand.
From Left
Sea Horse Brand - 3 x 2-5/8" - Old Yeun Kee - Macau - 1940's
Tiger Brand - 16 x 1-1/2" - Sing Lung Co. Canton, China - 1940's
Yuen Shing.
From Left
Yuen Shing Mandarin Crackers - 4 1/2" x 4-1/4" (Rare) - 1920's-30's
Dragon Brand Mandarin - 5 2-1/2" - Li and Fung Mfg. (Rare)
Golden Dragon.
From Left.
Yan Kee Boy Brand - 16 x 1-5/8" - Kwong Hing Tai Macau - 1930's-40's
Golden Dragon - 5 2" - Kwong Man Lung (Rare)
Duck Brand.
From Left
Yick Loong Firework Co. - Macau - 1930's-40's
Yankee Doodle Dandy - 2" - Unexcelled Mfg. Co. - NY - 1930's-40's
Special Effect Sky Rocket.
Inert Special Effect Sky Rocket  (3-12 lbs) on traveling display board.
These rockets were manufactured in 1880 at Rochester Fireworks Co. (1836-1914), Rochester, NY.  Rochester Fireworks Company is America's first fireworks company.  In the first decade of the 1800's the British army, conveniently stationed in Canada, harassed the Great Lakes region and small towns with cannon and musket fire.  In response to this 20 year  melee the fledgling Colonial government started up a few powder mills in upstate New York and in the Rochester area in particular.  After the conclusion of the war of 1812 there were no need for so many powder mills.  One of the powder mills at Rochester was turned into a fireworks company by a few enterprising English colonists and henceforth gave birth to Rochester Fireworks Company in 1836.  Although it wasn't named Rochester Fireworks Company at first, the company had its trademark name up until its closing at the start of the 20th century.
Insin Po He No 1.
Black Powder INSIN PO HE No. 1 MFG by Samyick Siukee - 6 1/8" x 5 1/8" Class 1. 
A rare bundle of import cannon crackers from China early 1900's.  Notice the crude wood block printed label on red rice paper.  Probably only known example.
Confucius Brand "Mandarin" Firecrackers, cir. 1949. 
A collector found the
brand listed in a 40's catalog but they were never circulated for sale. Probably unique!  Mao just wouldn't tolerate this religious label!
Various Brands of Salutes.
Various Brands of Entry Salutes, 1920's  - 1950's.    Imported and Domestic
1-1/2" Imported Firecracker Strips.
1 1/2" Imported Firecracker Strips, 1930's
Sky Rockets from the 20's.
Two Sky rockets from the 20's. 
8 oz. Parachute Flag Rocket manufactured by National Fireworks of MA.  No. 1 Day Light Flash Rocket manufactured by Triumph Fireworks, MD.  Take note of the Art Deco wrapping on this rocket.  The art deco Art movement started in the early 20th century in Europe (France) and spread to the US in the 20's.  It was a very popular design movement.  Just look at the Empire State Building as a prime example of this movement in America.  Form Follows Function!
Essex Snakes.
1 Gross Carton of Essex Brand, NJ, Black Python Snakes -
"Guaranteed not
to contain poisonous mercury", 1935.  NOTE:  Essex Fireworks Co. was only in operation for a few years.  Probably only known example.
20th Century Crackers from China.
A selection of early 20th century imported crackers from China. 
Wink Yuen 30-pack firecrackers, MFG. by Wink Yuen.  Probably only example known.
National Fireworks Display Board.
National Fireworks Display Board of Sky Rockets, MA, cir. 1915 (2 oz. - 2 lbs) & Roman Candles - 3, 5, 6, 10, 15, & 20 Ball. 
10 Ball Roman Candles are a limit in the US today.  A few years back an American importer imported a 100 shot RC.  They were about 6 ft. in height and took a while to shoot off!  Back at the turn of the century fireworks companies would ship rockets separate from their balancing sticks because of breakage.
Fireworks Catalogs.
Fireworks Catalogs. 
Several early fireworks catalogs and price lists. Unexcelled Co., NY, NY, being the largest in the country, 1874.  Masten and Wells of MA was another large company, 1927 and 1938 respectively.  Back then, as American commodities go, fireworks were very expensive.
Go Up Paper Balloons.
"Go-Up Balloons" (Sky Lanterns today), cir. 1920's. 
These Pyro items were banned by authorities soon after they came out in the 20's.  Many people, especially farmers, were complaining about their fields being set on fire. With the resurgence of these fire hazards, I wonder how long they'll last this time?
old to youngest natition.
Up until WW II America made all of its own fireworks with the exception of crackers--they were always and still are imported from China, (too labor intensive and not cost effective for American manufacturing).
The Pyrotechnia.
The Pyrotechnia of Vannoccio Bringuccio - written in 1540. 
A comprehensive collection of various papers on every aspect of fire in the medieval period.  Fascinating reading.  Extremely rare volume!

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Museum 3.Museum 4.
Museum 5.Museum 6.
Museum 7.Museum 8.
Museum 9.Museum 10.
Museum 11.Museum 12.
Museum 13.Museum 14.
Wanted -- Old Fireworks and Related Items!

Top Prices paid for spent and unspent fireworks of any type before 1960

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