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Fixed Sun With A Transparent Face

To make a sun of the best kind, there should be two rows of cases,

which should show a double glory, and make the rays strong and full.

The frame or sun-wheel must be made thus: have a circular flat nave

made very strong, 12 inches diameter; to this fix six strong flat

spokes; on the front of these fix a circular fell, five feet diameter;

within which, fix another fell, the length of one of the sun-cases

less in diamet
r; within this fix a third fell, whose diameter must be

less than the second by the length of one case and one-third. The

wheel being made, divide the fells into so many equal parts as there

are to be cases, (which may be done from 24 to 44:) at each division

fix a flat iron staple: these staples must be made to fit the cases,

to hold them fast on the wheel; let the staples be so placed, that one

row of cases may lie in the middle of the intervals of the other.

In the centre of the block of the sun drive a spindle, on which put a

small hexagonal wheel, whose cases must be filled with the same charge

as the cases of the sun; two cases of this wheel must burn at a time,

and begin with those on the fells. Having fixed on all the cases,

carry pipes of communication from one to the other, and from one side

of the sun to the wheel in the middle, and from thence to the other

side of the sun. These leaders will hold the wheel steady while the

sun is fixing up, and will also be a sure method of lighting both

cases of the wheel together. A sun thus made is called a brilliant

sun, because the wood-work is entirely covered with fire from the

wheel in the middle, so that there appears nothing but sparks of

brilliant fire; but if you would have a transparent face in the

centre, you must have one made of pasteboard of any size. The method

of making a face is, by cutting out the eyes, nose, and mouth, for the

sparks of the wheel to appear through; but instead of this face, you

may have one painted on oil paper, or Persian silk, strained tight on

a hoop; which hoop must be supported by three or four pieces of wire

at six inches distance from the wheel in the centre, so that the light

of it may illuminate the face. By this method may be shown, in the

front of the sun, VIVAT REGINA, cut in pasteboard, or Apollo, painted

in silk; but, for a small collection, a sun with a single glory and a

wheel in front will be most suitable. Half-pound cases, filled ten

inches with composition, will be a good size for a sun of five feet

diameter; but, if larger, the cases must be greater in proportion.



Take a slip of cartridge-paper, about three-quarters of an inch in

width, paste and double it; let it remain till dry, and cut it into

two equal parts in length, (No. 1 and 2,) according to the following



No. 1. Glass. S Glass. No. 2.


Take some of the glass composition, and lay it across the paper as in

the pattern, and put about a quarter of a grain of fulminating silver

in the place marked S, and while the glass composition is moist, put

the paper marked No. 2, over the farthest row of glass. Over all,

paste twice over the part that covers the silver a piece of paper; let

it dry, and when you wish to explode it, take hold of the two ends and

pull them sharply from each other, and it will produce a loud report.


Procure a piece of girth from 12 to 18 inches in length. Double it,

and fold it down about 1-1/2 inch, similar to the fold of a letter,

and then turn back one end of the girth, and it will form two

compartments. Then take some gum and dissolve it in water; boil it

till it is quite melted, and very thick; add coarse powdered glass,

sufficient to make it into a very thick paste; place two upright rows

of the glass composition in the inside of one of the folds, about as

wide as the thickness of a lath, and as high as a half-crown laid

flat; and when they are dry, sew the first fold together on the edge,

and then the second at the opposite end, so that one end may be open.

Then, in the centre of the two rows, put about a grain of fulminating

silver, and paste a piece of cotton or silk over it. Make a hole at

each end of the girdle, and hang it to a hook in the door-post, and

the other hook on the door, observing to place the silk part so that

it may come against the edge of the door when opened, which will cause

a report as loud as a small cannon. The fulminating silver may be

purchased at any of the operating chemists.


Procure some glass globes, between the size of a pea and a small

marble, in which there must be a small hole; put into it half a grain

of fulminating silver. Paste a piece of paper carefully over the ball

to prevent the silver from escaping. When you wish to explode one put

it on the ground, and tread hard upon it, and it will go off with a

loud noise. These balls may be made productive of much amusement in

company, by placing a chair lightly on them; for whoever sits down

upon them will cause them to explode. These globes may be procured at

the barometer-makers.


Is made of binding, about three-eighths of an inch in width. Observe

the same directions as given for the girdle; you may either explode it

yourself, by taking hold of each end, and rolling the ends from each

other sharply, or give one end to another, and pull together.


Take a piece of card about three-fourths of an inch in breadth and 12

in length; slit it at one end, and place in the opening a quarter of a

grain of fulminating silver; close the edges down with a little paste,

and when dry you may use it by lighting the end in a candle.

Having given the method by which these loud reports are produced, we

shall mention some other effects to be produced by the silver, capable

of affording much amusement. For instance, by placing about a quarter

of a grain of the silver in the midst of some tobacco in a pipe, or

between the leaves of a cigar, and closing the end again, to prevent

the powder from falling out; when lighted, it causes a loud explosion;

for heat, as well as friction, will equally do.

Or, take one-third of the grain of fulminating silver; fold it up in a

small piece of paper, and wrap it up in another piece, and paste it

round a pin. These pins stuck in the wick of a candle make a very loud


Fulminating silver may be also used in the following manner:--Put half

a grain in a piece of glass-paper, and enclose it in a piece of foil;

put it then at the bottom or side of a drawer, and on opening or

shutting it, it will immediately go off.

Put a quarter of a grain of fulminating silver into a piece of paper,

and place in the snuffers when quite cold; when the candle is snuffed,

it will go off.


Works that sport in the water are much esteemed by most admirers of

fire-works, particularly water-rockets; and as they seem of a very

extraordinary nature to those who are unacquainted with this art, they

merit a particular explanation.