Spectacularly alert “06880” reader Mark Krosse sent this along:
It’s from CtHistoryOnline, and is a broadside inviting Westporters to an “Exhibition of Fireworks!” — on the “Evening of the 4th of July, 1860.”
The site was “Compo House,” and the “programme” was extensive.
Signal Rockets will be fired from sun-down to 9 o’clock, when a brilliant display will commence with the splendid GREEK BENGOLA LIGHTS, illuming the whole entire area of the Fireworks Ground. This brilliant reflecting light was invented by the celebrated Indian Chieftain, TIPPOO SAIB, and is the most powerful known to the present age, eclipsing the Drummond Light for its brilliancy, &c. After which the following beautiful pieces will be fired in the order of the Programme.
Reading habits 2012-style not being what they were in 1860, I’ll give just a few highlights:
- Splendid Vertical Wheel
- Chaplet of Flora
- Fairies’ Frolic
- Glories of Mexico
Casting aside the question of why we were celebrating the “Glories of Mexico,” I’ll close with this description of the final Bomb Shells:
Commencing with a splendid wheel of Chinese, Egyptian and radiant fires, forming all the variegated and beautiful mutations of the Kaleidoscope, changing to the American Coat of Arms, displaying the shield with the Stars and Stripes on each side in the appropriate colors, Red, White and Blue.
On an arc above will appear the motto, UNION.
The whole mutating to a grand Mosaic Battery, composed of Greek and Roman Candles, filling the air for several hundred feet with all the beautiful colors known in Pyrotechny.
Sounds like Fun!
In fact, the descriptions are so vivid I can just imagine the scene. Colors fill the air. The crowd applauds. Finally everyone heads home, creating a massive horse-and-carriage jam on the roads from Compo House.