How to Make a Rain of Fireworks, 1658

woodcut of fireworks raining stars

To make the golden Rain, you must get store of Goose-quills, and cut them off next the feathers, and fill these quills hard with the same composition that is in your rocket, and must be put on the head of the Rocket with the open end downwards: If it were possible to put a thousand of these quills upon the head of a Rocket, it were a dainty sight to see how pleasantly they spread themselves in the air, and come down like streams of gold much like the falling down of Snow, especially if the wind be any thing high.

John White, A Rich Cabinet

Fourth of July to-do list: grill hamburgers, make potato salad, obtain and manicure a thousand goose quills for dainty fireworks display.