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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration so you can make the world a better place.

Part three of our five-part series on fireworks, taking a deeper dive into the evolution of that innovation and how we’ve come to the present-day fireworks show that we know. Many of you may be just coming off of that holiday, the day after. I appreciate you showing up here and listening to the Bold Today Show.

Today, I’m inspired by your motivation to learn. Take a look at what the modern firework is. What goes into that design, the actual embodiment of the mortar and the shell? These are the big fireworks, not just the pull-the-string poppers, but the ones that make big explosions up in the sky. How do they work? What are they made of?

I found a little graphic on, and we’re using that graphic right now, giving them proper attribution at the bottom. It shows a nice illustration of what goes into a mortar. A mortar is the word for a firework, a capsule, as it were, in a spherical shape. You can see that it’s attached to a cylindrical portion at the bottom. There are two main components to this standard mortar.

One’s called a propellant, the part of the firework that shoots it straight up in the air. That’s what’s located on the bottom in the cylindrical section that gets it way up there. But the actual boom, the part that makes that loud sound, is the propellant. It’s not the firework itself, which is, for the most part, silent. Now, there can be added pyrotechnics that will actually create a little bit of sound with the explosion, but the bigger bass sound of an explosion happens at the propellant stage in just getting that rocket up in the air.

In this diagram, you can see there are little tiny small stars, as they call them, or mini embers. When the embers become part of the firework and explode, they are coated likely in different elements. As we discussed yesterday, how different colors are generated by different elements, putting the proper metallic structure and powder coatings with those different elements. We talked about boron for blue, barium and copper for blue, and sodium for yellow.

This is what the pyrotechnics, the folks that organize these fireworks, do with these little tiny balls within the mortar, positioning them just right so that when they explode, they appear in this fashion, spread all out or filter down and have all the different effects that we may have seen even last night.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at fireworks in detail with me today. It’s fun for me to kind of take a step back from the law here and there to just look at some fun things right all around us that we’re experiencing right now in life. If you enjoyed this week so far and want to forward this to someone you know, all you have to do is send the email to them, and they can sign up for the Bold Today Show themselves.

My pleasure talking with you here today on the Bold Today Show. I’m J.D. Houvener. Hope you have a wonderful day. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at