This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Tartar emetic (dried), 100 parts; lampblack or charcoal powder, 3 parts. Triturate together, put into a crucible that it will three-fourths fill (previously rubbed inside with charcoal powder). Cover it with a layer of dry charcoal powder, and lute on the cover. After 3 hours' exposure to a strong heat in a reverberatory furnace, and 6 or 7 hours' cooling, cautiously transfer the solid contents of the crucible, as quickly as possible, without breaking, to a wide-mouthed stoppered phial, where, after some time, it will spontaneously crumble to a powder. When the above process is properly conducted, the resulting powder contains potassium, and fulminates violently on contact with water. A piece the size of a pea introduced into a mass of gunpowder explodes it on being thrown into water, or on its being moistened in any other manner.
Digest copper (in powder of filings) with fulminate of mercury or of silver, and a little water.
It forms soluble green crystals that explode with a green flame.
Take mercury, 100 parts; nitric acid (specific-gravity, 1.4), 1,000 parts (or 740 parts, by measure). Dissolve by a gentle heat, and when the solution has acquired the temperature of 130° P., slowly pour it through a glass funnel tube into alcohol (specific gravity, .830), 830 parts (or 1,000 parts, by measure). As soon as the effervescence is over, and white fumes cease to be evolved, filter through double paper, wash with cold water, and dry by steam (not hotter than 212° F.) or hot water. The fulminate is then to be packed in 100-grain paper parcels, and these stored in a tight box or corked bottle. Product 130 per cent of the weight of mercury employed.
Niter, 3 parts; carbonate of potash (dry), 2 parts; flowers of sulphur, 1 part; reduce them separately to fine powder, before mixing them. A little of this compound (20 to 30 grains), slowly heated on a shovel over the fire, first fuses and becomes brown, and then explodes with a deafening report.
Sulphur, 1 part; chlorate of potassa, 3 parts. When triturated, with strong pressure, in a marble or wedg-wood-ware mortar, it produces a series of loud reports. It also fulminates by percussion.
Chlorate of potassa, 6 parts; pure lampblack, 4 parts; sulphur, 1 part. A little placed on an anvil detonates with a loud report when struck with a hammer.