Light Drawings: Representation and Design

  • E. ChiavoniEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 37)


This contribution examines several machines and instruments that use fireworks to create light drawings in the sky. Since time immemorial, and even today, numerous publications focus on this issue, including different kinds of Italian handbooks written by chemical artillery experts who focus on these pyrotechnical problems. In the late eighteenth century several important handbooks used extremely accurate and precise graphic representations to explain the composition of these unique mechanisms, the techniques used to create, and the ensuing results. This contribution reviews the most important images and drawings in one of these handbooks written in 1785 by John Maskall and entitled “Artificial fireworks”. It also focuses on the design of pyrotechnical devices.


Drawing Fireworks Pyrotechnical shapes Pyrotechnical devices Pyrotechnical mechanisms 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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