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(Editor's Note:  Glossary information courtesy of Matt and Sandra Sutcliffe, Premier Pyrotechnics, Inc.  This is the best compilation of pyro descriptions I've seen and I thank the Sutcliffe's for allowing it's use at pyrotech.com.)
 
Artillery Multiple reports.
BATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  A federal agency which oversees and regulates the safe use and handling of fireworks.
Battle in the Clouds Multiple silver sparked reports followed by a heavy report.
Black Match A fuse made from thread impregnated with black powder.
Break of Saettine Shell A ring of shots thrown out forcefully and uniformly thus forming a ring in the sky.  The shots all perform at the same time.
Bombette Shell French and English term used interchangeably with Pupadelle or color insert.
Canister Shell Shaped like a cylinder containing any of a number of effects.  3" resembles a soda can.  Canister shells contain a larger volume of stars or inserts than round shells.
Cannonade Shell A group of shots that travel for a few instants after the shell breaks and then perform more or less together, usually with significant impact.  Can be preceded by a color break.  The shots are fewer and larger than Fusillading shots.
Chrysanthemum A multi-axially symmetrical break pattern wherein tailed stars are thrown out from the center apparently straight and hard, creating a burst of spokes and an expanding globe of color.
Coconut Tree Similar to a Palm Tree shell.
Color A single burst of color stars.
Color Changing Shell Stars that change from one color to another color.
Color Changing Spider Hard break of gold tailed stars that change to a bright color at the end.
Color & Report A single asymmetrical break of colored stars followed by a heavy report.
Color, Whistle & Report An asymmetrical break of colored stars with multiple whistling of "screaming" serpents followed by a bottom shot or heavy report.
Comet A large cylindrical pumped star that leaves a sparked tail.
Cracklers with Treasure Chest A break of very bright mixed colors with crackling or dragon eggs.
Crackling The gold and silver sparked stars crackle, or erupt into snaps, pops, and flashes.
Crossette Also known as a Splitting Comet.  A  large pumped star that burns for a period of time then explodes from an internal shot.  Smaller burning fragments fly outward from the star's trajectory.  Traditionally, all stars in one timing break simultaneously.  A further refinement is to have the fragments display symmetrically representing smaller comets shooting in different directions crossing over themselves.
Crown Also known as a Diadem Chrysanthemum.  Similar to the Kamuro Chrysanthemum with the addition of a conventional inner pistil or petals of color stars and outer duration stars often with bright, short duration color core, frequently green or white.
Dahlia Symmetrical break of large comet stars.  Their long duration creates a dropping effect.  A peony type shell made with very bright stars.
Display Fireworks Firework devices primarily intended for commercial displays.  Constituted as "Class B" Fireworks whereby salutes contain more than 130 mg. of explosives composition, aerial shell contain more than 40 grains (1.4 oz.) of chemical composition exclusive of lift charge.
DOT Department of Transportation.  A Federal Agency responsible for regulating the labeling and transportation of fireworks in and around the United States.
Finale String of shells fused together to fire rapidly in order from a rack of tubes (finale rack).
Draw-Out A color break followed by 4 timed shots, followed by another color break and ending in a final report.
Firefly Also known as Transformation.  A gold or silver flashing effect occurring in the tail of a star, dimmer and less defined than a strobe or a flitter, which continues for a very long period of time.  The effect should appear to hang in the sky.
Fish & Whistle The fish are silver tailed serpents, the whistle is multiple screaming serpents.
Flitter A bright spark trail effect that does not split into sparks.
Fusillading Shot A group of shots that travel for a few instants after the shell breaks and then perform in a random fashion over a short period of time.
Go-Getter Self propelled stars.
Glitter Composition producing sparks that are ejected from the burning star and then proceed to split into finer sparks.
Hammer Shell A color break followed quickly by a report, another color break and report.  This sequence traditionally repeated four times and often followed by a bottom shot.
Heart Pattern Colored stars form a heart pattern in the sky.
Kamuro Chrysanthemum A single-petaled chrysanthemum break with tailed stars of significant duration to create a pronounced and uniform willow effect.  In conventional Oriental School practice a number of compositions are used to create this effect:  nishiki (cloth of gold or brocade), glittering, etc., some changing to flash or color at the end.
Mine All of the stars are ignited as they leave the mortar.  When multiple mines are fired at the same time from multiple locations, it can give the effect of a wash or wall of color or the effect of stars.
NFPA National Fire Protection Association.  A national agency involved with enhancing and regulating the construction, handling, and use of fireworks.  This agency, in affiliation with DOT and APA, is responsible for developing our universal fireworks code commonly know as NFPA 1123.
Nova A break of red and blue stars followed by a ring of silver sparked reports.
Palm Tree The trunk is the thick rising tail, the palms are made by large stars leaving a thick trail in a palm pattern.
Peony A multi-axially symmetrical break pattern wherein stars without pronounced fire trails are thrown out from the center, apparently straight and hard, creating hollow expanding globe of color.
Port fire A long tube containing slow-burning pyrotechnic composition that is used to ignite fireworks.  Also termed Fusee, commonly used as a highway safety distress signal.
Pupatelle/Pupadelle Small insert shells that are inserted to produce a splash of color.
Quickmatch Black match concealed in a paper wrap or tubing to create instantaneous ignition.
Report Salute; a loud concussion.
Ring or Rondel A ring of shots thrown out forcefully and uniformly.  The shots are timed to perform consecutively with precise timing, thus tracing the outline of a ring in the sky.
Rising Tail Shells that leave a tail from the mortar up until they break.  Can be on most kind of shells.
Saettine Shot originally made with dark flash, thus producing a report with low light output.
Salute A brilliant flash or light followed by thunderous clap of noise; report.
Saturn Ring A peony with a different colored ring surrounding it resembling the planet Saturn and its rings.
Serpent A small tube device with an opening at one end, producing a visual effect (tail) tracing an often erratic course in its display.
Shell of Shells This shell contains smaller shells inside.  These shells are thrown out into a wide circular pattern producing a ring of small bursts of color or other effects.
Snap Dragon Asymmetrical break of variegated stars with screeching whistles.
Spiderweb A shell with an especially hard break that is usually filled with stars producing a golden charcoal streamer effect, but also occasionally appearing today in silver/white and other color effects.  The long duration of this effect enable it to form a veil or web across the sky.
Star in a Ring Pattern The colored stars form a star pattern in the sky.  Around this star is a ring pattern of colored stars.
Sticky Match Match used to fuse together lance forming a set-piece.  Available in a different rate of burn speeds.
Strobe Extremely brilliant; the stars strobe or flash on and off as they fall through the sky.
Stickless Rocket Rising gold or silver fireball that leaves a long sparked tail.
Theatrical Pyrotechnics Pyrotechnic devices for professional use in the entertainment industry similar to "Consumer Fireworks" in chemical composition and construction but not intended for consumer use.
Three Break Three timed breaks of different colors or two breaks of different colors followed by a heavy report.
Tiger Tail A rising fireball that leaves a soft glittering tail and then breaks with its specific effect or color.
Titanium Salute A salute shell with Flash special effects.
Tourbillion Tube of composition with a hole or holes causing a spiral like effect as the tubes are propelled through the air.
Wall of Fire A set of 12 or more tailed shells connected electronically to fire simultaneously giving the effects of a rising wall of gold or silver sparked comets.
Willow A break of stars, usually with pronounced fire trails, or duration sufficient to create a drooping or weeping effect.  The initial effect may or may not be symmetrical.
Whistle A small tube filled with a fierce burning composition causing a whistling effect as it burns.  These shells can also have color.  Thus you have a color and whistle or star and whistle shell.

 

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