Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 4 1/2in. x 2ft 1in. x 3 1/4in. (11.43 x 63.5 x 8.26cm)
Overall, cardboard; sticks, wood; sockets for mounting guidesticks, steel
This is a patent model for an improved skyrocket patented by Phillipp Licht of East Williamsburg, New York, on 19 November 1872. Licht's improvement was four short sticks projecting from sockets at the rear of the rocket. These served as a launch stand as well as helping to stabilize the rocket.
For centuries, the ordinary fireworks rocket, also known as a skyrocket, was stabilized in its flight by a long wooden guidestick lashed to its side. This made skyrockets difficult to store and transport. The main advantage of Licht’s arrangement was that the shorter and detachable sticks allowed greater portability. For transport, the sticks could carried separately and placed into their sockets when the rocket was ready to be fired. Licht was a professional pyrotechnicist, but there is no indication his improvement was adopted by others.
Alan D. Dunphy gave this patent model to the Smithsonian in 1983.
Gift of Alan D. Dunphy