Each July, Americans across the country channel their inner patriot, even us science geeks. For decades Popular Science has commemorated Independence Day in its own way, be it a look at the mechanics behind pyrotechnics or a guide to flag-placing etiquette. Check out the photo gallery for a look at how we’ve covered the Fourth over the years.
Enter the gallery.
Why Your Fireworks Flash And Go BOOM, 1930
In our July 1930 issue, we broke down the physics of fireworks. The feature included diagrams of the internal workings of a firecracker, a roman candle and a skyrocket. Read the full article Why Your Fireworks Flash And Go BOOM.
Shoot The Works In Color, 1953
In 1953 we had a special feature on tips for shooting color photographs of fireworks. Perfecting your technique with stable camera support and multiple exposures will help you forever capture the “fiery beauty” of the nation’s favorite salute, we wrote at the time. Read the full article Shoot The Works In Color.
July 4th Can Be Fun And Safe, 1954
Here, we featured seven homemade patriotic toys to entertain children, including this rocket flag launcher (instructions included!). Read the full article July 4th Can Be Fun And Safe.
How Experts Shoot Fireworks Safely, 1955
In 1955, we spoke with Jack Duffield, aka “Mr. Fireworks,” then the largest manufacturer and importer of display fireworks in the United States, about safety precautions. Here, he shows the proper size of a flag contained within a firework bomb. Read the full article How Experts Shoot Fireworks Safely.
Our Flag Gets A New Star, 1959
In 1959, Alaska was granted statehood, making it the first new addition to the U.S. since 1912. That summer, we highlighted some of the workers who had to add an extra star to the American flag. Read the full article Our Flag Gets A New Star.
Your Name In Lights, 1963
In 1963, we wrote that photographing your name with Fourth of July sparklers makes for the perfect signature print, display, or Christmas card. Hey, it was the ’60s. Read the full article [Your Name In Lights](Picture of Linda’s name
Five Ways To Fly The American Flag, 1966
“Fly your flag proudly, but correctly,” we wrote in a 1966 feature on the proper etiquette of placing your American flag outside your home. Read the full article Five Ways To Fly The American Flag.
Tiny Chips Make For Big Bangs, 2002
In 2002, Popular Science reporter David Sparrow helped build a 4-inch Golden Filter Split Comet launched on the 26th Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. Read the full article Tiny Chips Make For Big Bangs.