Fireworks packaging, labels, wrappers and boxes. Many of the labels contain illustrations and logos with ethnic imagery, often stereotypical, and a variety of other subjects.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of fireworks labels, wrappers, and packaging, part of a crate, and one product catalogue for the Martin's Real Fireworks Displays of Iowa. The majority of the fireworks labels and packaging were made in China or Macao, but some were made in the United States, Canada, and India. The labels are in Chinese, English, French, and German. Many of the labels are for "firecrackers," small noisemaking cylinders that are an inch and a half in length, often strung together with others and fused consecutively. Other types of fireworks include ladyfingers (a small ¾" firecracker), cherry bombs and M-80s (illegal firecracker with a small red sphere an inch in diameter with flash powder), rockets (a cylinder with cone shaped head filled with pyrotechnic materials), shells or bombs (a canister fired out of a mortar), and torpedoes (fulminate of mercury mixed with grit and twisted in a piece of paper). The collection is particular rich in ethnic imagery. Other images include" elephant, birds, cowboys, anchors, pirates, tigers, cats, dogs, camels, cocks, lions, coyotes, dragons, wheels, horses, gorillas, rick shaws, rockets, fishing, and superman to name a few. The collection is divided into one series by fireworks brands and is arranged alphabetically. Information is provided for where the fireworks were manufactured, what company made them and what company distributed them. Most labels are undated.
The collection is arranged into one series.
Series 1: Brands
Biographical / Historical:
Collector of patriotic ephemera and fireworks dealer.
The collection was donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History through Sgt. Leonard Anderson, Office of the Sheriff, Santa Clara County, California on July 11, 1995.
Colection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.