Fireworks originated in China some 2,000 years ago. The most prevalent legend has it that fireworks were discovered or invented by accident by a Chinese cook working in a field kitchen who happened to mix charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter (all commonly found in the kitchen in those days). The mixture burned and when compressed in an enclosure (a bamboo tube), the mixture exploded.
Some sources say that the discovery of fireworks occurred about 2,000 years ago, and other sources place the discovery sometime during the 9th century during the Song dynasty (960-1279), although this could be confusion between the discovery of gunpowder by the cook and the invention …show more content…
Products produced in Hunan went through the Hunan Export Corporation, and products produced in Jiangxi went through the Jiangxi Export Corporation, and so on. During this period, factories were not required to make a profit, but rather their goal was to keep people working in a region of China where there was no real industry other than agriculture. The Chinese government subsidized these factories to keep production going.
The Provincial Export Corporation in turn sold to Hong Kong brokers who were the link between Mainland China and the foreign business entities. The Hong Kong brokers procured orders, arranged logistics, and helped finance shipments to the U.S. distributors.
It was also during this time period that the first formally educated leader of China, Chairman Deng Xiaoping, saw what his counterparts in the former Soviet Bloc did not see, and that is that Communism simply did not work economically. Chairman Deng began a policy of economic reform that basically set China on the road toward capitalism.
During the 1980s, China opened up dramatically to travel within its borders for visiting U.S. importers. This enabled the first American fireworks buyers to travel to the production regions and establish relations with Hong Kong exporters and the provincial …show more content…
The Americans involved took on the infamous moniker of "The Shekou Six" by most of the shell shocked Chinese industry people, and from that meeting and a few that followed was born the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory (AFSL) which monitors firework production within China to this day.
In the 1990s, economic reform continued under Chairman Jiang Zemin as Chinese factories were weaned off government funding and forced to turn a profit for the first time. It was during this period that many Provincial Export Corporation personnel left the government owned companies and were permitted to start their own.
Initially these new private companies worked through the established Hong Kong brokers to reach the U.S. market, but within a few years they were selling directly to U.S.