Bombs or grenades share with rockets the popular favor as spectacles. They are now manufactured in an almost endless variety, but in their essentials they are unchanged. They are so constructed as to withstand the shock of being projected from a mortar, and are filled with any desired collection of small fireworks, which, when a certain altitude is reached, are kindled and cast out. Great ingenuity is often displayed in the loading of bombs or grenades. Thus, stars of various colors are arranged in orderly ranks, and in combination with them are used the different styles of serpents, girandoles, and the like. The rain of fire also is thus carried aloft, and the grenades are sometimes finished with caisses or marrons. One of the most charming effects is obtained by the use of grenades carrying fiery globes. These spheres are essentially a larger form of stars. A particular formula is employed in making the paste:

Powder..........................

33

Sulphur......................

8

Charcoal..................

6

Niter.....................

4

Black smoke.....................

1

Dextrin..............................

1

Practical experience in connection with this mixture has demonstrated that the charcoal is most satisfactory when made from oak or beech, very finely ground. The composition in which oak charcoal is used has a more ruddy tinge to the flame in burning, while the beech charcoal gives a golden color; but the reddish hue endures during a longer interval than does the gold.

The dextrin, which serves to give adhesiveness to the mass, is first dissolved in an equal weight of water, and this quantity of water is sufficient for moistening the whole composition.

Grenades are also sometimes finished with balls of white fire, for which the following composition is used:

Niter.......................

36

Powder..................

12

Antimony. .......................

12

Sulphur............................

10

The mixture is made into a paste, using the necessary amount of gum-arabic water.

By suitable changes in the composition, the spheres may be given any desired color.

An effect of peculiar beauty is secured by adding to the stars, or other pieces in a grenade, a number of parachutes supporting colored lights. The making of such grenades requires extreme nicety on the part of the worker, and much practical experience as well. But the result, when successful, fully justifies the labor involved.

A distinctive variation in the effect is secured by loading a bomb with grenades that have the appearance of luminous globes floating through the air after their discharge. For this purpose, the grenades are prepared by covering them with a star paste. To strengthen the grenade, it is first wound with cotton thread, which has been soaked in the paste. The whole is then thoroughly coated with the composition. A white light is usually preferred for such globes, and the following formula may be used.

Niter.....................

16

Sulphur......................

8

Powder..................................

6

Camphor......................

1