Explosives Book


1923 Edition

Chapter 1.3 Black Match Fuse

The black match fuse is one of the oldest, simplest and most reliable fuses used in modern pyrotechnics. It is easy to create, essentially consisting of just a string and gunpowder, but be warned: the chemicals concerned WILL stain clothing, and as always, due concern is advised.

Materials required:

- String (preferably cotton) - Black gun powder - Baxtrin

The string should be coated with a thin later of baxtrin, which acts as an adhesive. The string is then carefully rolled in the gunpowder and left to dry a couple of minutes before use.

Chapter 2.1 Dynamite

Invented by Alfred Nobel in 1866, dynamite is commonly used in construction, mining and demolition. It has proved safer to handle than alternatives as pure nitro-glycerine, provided, that is, it has been properly stored. Over time, the explosive component of dynamite, supposedly made safe by the presence of the diatomaceous earth, has a tendency to weep, making an old box of explosives to detonate on contact.

Materials required:

- 1 part diatomaceous earth - 3 parts nitro-glycerine - small amount of sodium carbonate

[Text unreadable] and then simply form into short sticks and wrap in paper.

Chapter 2.3 Trinitrotoluene (TNT)

TNT was first discovered, in 1863, by German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, but it took some years before it yielded its true potential. This was because of the difficulty in making it explode and the lesser detonation in comparison to dynamite. The main advantage was discovered by the German navy, who employed TNTs relative explosive stability in order to cause massive damage to British warships. Their torpedoes could be detonated inside a ships armour, rather than exploding on contact as did other shells.

Chapter 2.6 Armstrong’s Mixture

Armstrong’s mixture is included in this book as more of a point of interest, than a viable chemical mix. The formula exists as somewhat a legend in modern pyrotechnics, referenced, by those knowledgeable enough to stay away from it, as Death Mix. Its incredible volatility makes it unsuitable for almost all potential applications.

Materials Required:

- Red phosphorus - Barium

This mixture can be carefully, and slowly mixed to minimise risk to the chemist. Sulphur can substitute for some or all of the Barium, to slightly decrease the sensitivity.