Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fireworks of the Past

This is a photo (used without permission) of the 'Cannon Cracker' that my father always talked about, and set off when he was a boy. The American Cannon Cracker was patented on July 7, 1885 by the Masten & Wells Fireworks Co of Boston, Mass. The cracker or salute has wooden end plugs and is 9½ inches long by 1¾ inches in diameter. Salutes over 5 inches long or over ¾ inches in diameter were banned from US trade in 1912.

Canon Cracker
The enormous size of this monster made it the short-lived prize possession of every boy in the United States; many dreamed of setting if off in church. My father used the metaphor 'like a cannon cracker in church' (coupled with a few expletives) to describe the accidental slamming of a door during a tranquil summer morning. I always wanted to know about the canon crackers, but he'd never describe them except to say they were big. I think he didn't want me to get any ideas I didn't already have.

Anyway, here it is. It used black powder for the explosive, and back when canon crackers were legal and fun, I'm certain that some little miscreant somewhere set one off in the rear of the sanctuary right in the middle of a particularly tedious sermon.

Not that I, personally, would ever find any amusement or pleasant diversion in such a nefarious activity... I wonder how young Pastor Alan would deal with that sort of interruption.

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