A.Moreland, the first Cannon

The Scientist in his Lab, TOBY TWIRL c1955

Travelling by Steam, a satire

Louis Raemaekers, The Zeppelin War

A Peculiar Boiler Exp.losion, Picture Magazine

Powder Mines Picture Magazine

A singular accident, Picture Magazine

Exploding Balloon Picture Magazine



Drawing an explosion presents many fine opportunities, given the range
we are presented with on a daily basis, They do however end up
looking like bunches of flowers (static) or nose bleeds. (over rich in colour)
It is necessary to represent the particularities of the fissile material
or the direction of the pressure.


01 and 4 panel narrative Peter Pendrey, illustration to all is not gold that glitters , Routledge, London 1944 22 x31cms. and readjusted here into 4 descending panels from a format of 2 images in the top row and 2 in the bottom.

02 from the comic strip "Dandy Lion", in the Jack and Jill All Colour Gift Book , Betterbook London c1955. Unknown illustrator 7 x 9cms
03  John Vernon Lord, The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear , Cape London 1984. illustration to "Mr. and Mrs.Discobolos" , p.81. 8 x14cms,

"Pensively, Mr.Discobolos
Sat with his back to the wall;
Lit a match and fired the train,
And the mortified mountain echoed again
To the sound of an awful fall !
And all the Discobolos family flew
In thousands of bits to the sky so blue..."

04 Wilhelm Busch, from section 4 of Max and Moritz. Busch was a pioneer of the comic narrative style in the nineteenth century.

05 Illustration from a publication called The Little Scholar's Mirror , and entitled "The Accident" c1810



There is an extensive literature on the construction and deployment of pyrotechnics. See Chris Phillips, A Bibliography of Fireworks , Books, published in association with St.Paul's Bibliographies, 1985.
top row

01. from a Coca Cola advert, July 1962
02 John Babington, Pyrotechnia, or A Discourse of Artificial Fire-Works London 1635. illustrated book on the Festivals of Versailles ,published in 1665.

03. Katherine Milhous, Through these Arches, The Story of Independence Hall, Lippincott Phil/NY 1964,

04. from Dore's magnificent Histoire de la Sainte Russe celebration in St.Petersburg of a crushing victory

 05. Utagawa Hiroshige, Fireworks over Ryogoku bridge, 1858 from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo 22 x 33 cms.

 06 Tomaso Moretti, A General Treatise of Artillery (Appendix of Artificial Fireworks for War and Delight), London 1698.


next row fireworks

01. Jean Appier ( Hanzelet) La Pyrotechnie... ou sont representez les plus rares & plus appreuuez secrets des machines & des feux artifici els ,Bernard, Pont á Mousson 1630. A marvellous image this, combining the visual entertainment with military application, rivalling the Suns in the sky.

02 engraving from a description of an allegorical firework display given in the presence of the Emperor Catherine the Great in the winter of 1765 at St.Petersburg in Russia.

03Webster Murray's lithograph from Alan St.H.Brock's Fireworks and Fetes ,Puffin Picture Book, Penguin, c1955. 18 x 21 cms.
04.  an engraving depicting the reception given to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria in the town of Lyons in France in December 1622. As a final event, the barge decorated with the emblem of the Sun, exploded.



01 from Walter and Bridgit Moss, H is for Harry The Story of a Hampden Bomber Oxford Univ.Press, 1942 18 x 22cms.

02. from Les Silences de Colonel Bramble , illustration in pochoir by R.Moritz. Editions KRA Paris 1929 7 x16cms
03 and 05 . William Kermode's lino-cuts for Henry Williamson's The Patriot's Progress , Geoffrey Bles, London 1930 each 8 x 9 cms.

04.G.P.Reinagle, lithograph of the Battle of Navarin , London 1828.




01. from a 1933 Buck Rogers strip
02. Gerhard Geldhauer, De terrifico Cometa... Knoblouch, Strassburg 1527; an account of the Comet that appeared over Europe in October that year.


see also VOLCANO

01. John Vernon Lord, illustration to The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear , Cape, London 1984,
There was an Old Man of Vesuvius,
Who studied the works of Vitruvius;
When the flames burnt the book, to drinking he took,
That morbid Old Man of Vesuvius.


02. from Sir William Hamilton, Campi Phlegraei, Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies , Naples, 1776 - 1779, and engraving by Pietro Fabris.