Country of Origin: Thailand
Overall: 1 ft. 10 in. long (55.88cm)
Other (cartridge body): 3 1/2 in. long x 1 in. diameter (8.89 x 2.54cm)
Rocket body, pasteboard; stick, bamboo strip; front cartridge, paper; fuse, paper; wrapping around cartridge, plastic string
This is a modern Thai bottle rocket, a very simple firework also called a bottle rocket because it is launched by being placed in an empty soft drink bottle and ignited. The body is made of a dried banana leaf in which the gunpowder is wrapped and then tied with a thin plastic ribbon.
The very thin, curved guidestick is a bamboo strip. This simple rocket is probably very similiar to the the first rockets which are believed to have originated in China about the 13th century A.D. or earlier, though the original Chinese rockets were somewhat larger. These rockets were donated to the Smithsonian in 1974 by Frank H. Winter.
Gift of Frank H. Winter