Before you head off with the family to your local fireworks show, it’s worth noting that the booming aerial displays we enjoy today originated in Italy.
In the 1830s, Italians combined various metals and explosives to create vibrant and colorful fireworks.
National Geographic reports:
“Around this time, family businesses such as Fireworks by Grucci and Zambelli Fireworks, now two of the United States’ largest and oldest firework companies, made modest names for themselves in Bari and Caserta, Italy, respectively.
These Italian firework families participated in activities like single-shell competitions—rocketing one firework into the sky and selecting a winner based on factors like design, sound, size, and color—says Phil Grucci, chief executive of Fireworks by Grucci.”
Fireworks initially made their way to the US in the late 1800s during the Great Migration as millions of Italian immigrants poured into Ellis Island.
For the full history on how fireworks came to America, click here.