Advance praise for For the Love of Fireworks

There is truth in that old fireworks saying, “He who hath once smelt the smoke, is ne’er again free.” This book captures the history, color, ingenuity, passion, and pageantry that remain part of our lives today as much as they were upon the first discovery that fire could be shaped to match our dreams.

– Joseph “Dr. Pyro” Domanico, designer of fireworks, and student of and lecturer on pyrotechnics to amateurs and professionals for over 40 years.

From its Greek roots, “pyrotechnics” can be taken to mean both “the science of fire” and “the art of fire.” This book fittingly reflects both, as it and the programmable light sculpture for which it is helping to raise funds honor the renowned pyrotechnicians Dr. Joseph McLain and Dr. John Conkling, who mastered both the scientific and artistic aspects of the craft.

-Chris Mocella, co-author of “Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory” (2nd ed.).

With this book Lynn McLain captures the awe and amazement with which we experience fireworks, no matter whether as young children or as great scientists.

-Stephen Frohock, retired CEO of F & F Fine Wines, International, student of Tenney L. Davis and Col. Walter J. Ungethuem, and lifetime experimenter in pyrotechnics.

This fascinating book answers all those questions on the art and history of fireworks that come to mind when we watch the sky become illuminated in a pyrotechnic display. It should have wide appeal to non-scientists and scientists alike.

-Frank J. Creegan, W Alton Jones Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at Washington College.

Reviews from confirmed purchasers:

Great book for the whole family! For the Love of Fireworks is a light and fun look at the history of fireworks and some of the lesser known facts about them. Many ‘did you know’ type conversation starters, a great idea for any group gathering. — Ann D.


“The book surveys the history of fireworks in America in a multiple-choice question-and-answer format that I enjoyed. As interesting as the questions are, so too are the many photos of fireworks and reproductions of pages from fireworks catalogs, patent applications, and other relevant documents. The grand finale is a useful bibliography that includes books, databases, and websites.

“Though probably intended for adults, I think this book would make a very nice gift for a high school student, or even one in junior high, with an interest in chemistry.”

Caroline McCullagh, MENSA BULLETIN, July 2018


Despite centuries of advances that allow us to light up entire stadiums at night, amplify music to deafening levels, or project digital likenesses in the sky, we still rely on fireworks, a technology that’s over 1,000 years old, to celebrate on a grand scale. Nothing comes close to the sense of awe and mystery that these displays arouse in their audience. That sense of aw drives Lynn McLain’s “For the Love of Fireworks,” a book that, fittingly, celebrates its subject matter with flashes of insight on the history and technical background of pyrotechnics. The book is a joy to pick up and peruse, as you will always find something interesting in its pages. It will have a permanent place on our bookshelf throughout the year and a special spot on the coffee table in July.

Marc Smith


For the Love of Fireworks

For the Love of Fireworks