Looking for a pyrotechnic project today? How about learning how to build your own fireworks from scratch, based on this beautifully handwritten guide from 1785.

The book, called Artificial Fireworks, was written by John Maskall over 20o years ago. Dense with instructions, diagrams and data, the illustrated treatise on firework design explains how to make a variety of different devices and the explosive mixtures to go inside them. Whether you're after spinning wheels or sky rockets, Maskell's your man. The book's in the public domain, so you can read the whole thing online. [Public Domain Review]