A merchant selling firecrackers on Hainan Island. Fireworks are used in China to celebrate many different holidays. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
Gunpowder is one of history’s most important discoveries. Scholars believe gunpowder originated in China by the late Song dynasty (960–1279). While the early history of rocketry is not certain, the earliest known clear reference to a rocket dates to 1264.
Gunpowder and rocketry have related, although unclear histories. Scholars believe that both had originated