Early throw down bangers

Discussion in 'Fireworks Nostalgia, Collectables And History' started by Mystic Juggler, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Mystic Juggler

    Mystic Juggler Supports UKFR

    I have these early throw down bangers that look like they are in 1920's pill boxes. I was wondering if anyone knew who made these and if I am close to the correct age of them. Also any thoughts on how unstable the composition is as I store them with other vintage pyro I'm a bit concerned that they might be a bit unsafe to be there with them.
     

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    Pyro Pete likes this.
  2. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    I wouldn't.
    I have some early amorces and keep them stored away from everything else in a separate tin.
     
  3. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    As for age........ I wonder if they are just post WW2 because of the use of old pill boxes.....perhaps used because of shortages in materials just after the war. We've seen similar re-use with old gasmask boxes used by Brocks and ammo containers used by Wessex Fireworks. In the 30's the packaging tends to be well designed and colourful like on the range of indoor stuff like Snakes etc. I've had similar pill boxes in the past but not with those contents.......... always thought they were 1930's era but not an expert on it.
    As for safety............ when I wnt through a list of accidents caused by fireworks, amorces etc. most accidents seemed to be during transportation of amorces with several quite big explosions caused by them injureing rail workers at the time. When I researched Harbots I came across a court case involving them storing amorces in a van which went up because of a self ignition problem with them. After reading that I always keep them well away from the pyro. As they are throw downs and by very nature designed to go off when thrown I would be more than a bit wary of them. No idea if they get worse with age or less dangerous, I just don't take the risk.
     
  4. Mystic Juggler

    Mystic Juggler Supports UKFR

    I hadn't thought about the post war idea and yes i could see that happening, things were hard to get hold of then,and they are poorly labeled, I have a nice example of the Wessex tube you mention.
    I was just going through boxes i hadn't looked in for a good while and found them mixed in with pyro and my immediate reaction was that of that's doesn't seem like a good idea.
    Your comments mean ill be keeping them somewhere else from now on id rather be safe than sorry!
    Not sure what throw downs are made from but the snap in a cracker uses phosphorus which isn't exactly stable!
     
  5. Tinderbox

    Tinderbox Pro Firer/Crew

    So, does one throw the entire pill box? Or did they contain small individual items? Is that the bare composition in the pic with the lid off?
     
  6. Throw downs contain Fulminate which are set off by shock and/or abrasion. Fulminate comes in a few forms and cannot be stored in large amounts because it'll ignite/explode under its own weight. Escht is 100% correct ... keep them stored away from other fireworks.
     
    elmo likes this.
  7. A very interesting find. In terms of safety the images don't actually indicate the presence of any contents. If the boxes don't contain the units of fragmented parts then safety isn't an issue, fragments would possibly be worst case. It is unlikely that these items would not be based on Chlorate/Phosphorus, Silver Fulminate is well documented for use in manufacture (Weingart/Davis - 1943, 1947).
    The lack of a manufacturers identification is a pity, if British made (and they look so) a local authority registered Toy Firework Factory would very likely be the course. Which part of the country do you think they originated from?
    Have you looked inside all the boxes? - be careful about the fragments I mentioned, two distinct designs pursued, paper twist or rolled clay ball, the contents of the open box a mystery, I would expect sawdust and the colour/discoloration of the packing contents is strange. The different build standard for the pill boxes is interesting, the caps in most are assembled from discs and tubes, but one has a stamped rawhide cup. This could imply prototype or primitive production evolving to something more sophisticated.
     
    Pyro Pete likes this.
  8. they seem very similar to "Globe Torpedoes" as documented by davies, with the exception that the pill box has not been rounded off by
    being soaked in waterglass and tumbled in a barrel.

    picture 2 of an opened container looks like it contains the whole composition and not smaller sub units.
    if this is the case, then the whole pill box was probably meant to be thrown down as a whole unit ?
    because of the sensitive nature of the composition they were eventually banned in the USA.

    picture 1 implies either the pill box was was a throw down or it contained smaller throw down units.

    or, maybe they were simply the containers the composition was stored in for manufacture of smaller sub units.

    I certainly would not store with other pyro. The contents perhaps would best be destroyed in a safe/appropriate manner and the pill boxes could then be stored
    as a much safer "dummy" .

    definitely worth keeping as an inert (empty) dummy for historical memorabilia reasons.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    Pyro Pete likes this.
  9. Tinderbox

    Tinderbox Pro Firer/Crew

  10. Mystic Juggler

    Mystic Juggler Supports UKFR

    Hi Thanks for all in the input, i haven't replied until now as i wanted to take them all apart and see what i found.
    All are made in the same way a small box inside a larger box, both with lids made of a ring and disc stuck together. All have the same material in them and it has a high iron filing content??? Possibly the friction creating part.
    My interpretation of them is that you are meant to throw the whole thing at the ground not take them apart.
    I used to live on the herts beds boarder and spent what time i could going to the junk markets, car boots and house clearance shops in that area and i have no recollection of where exactly they came from but it would have been around that area so yes British.
    I might tomorrow empty one into something suitable and try and set it off to see what happens. Ill let you know.!!!
     
  11. Mystic Juggler

    Mystic Juggler Supports UKFR

    Some further pictures
     

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  12. looks like its got magnetic iron particles in ?