Page:Pyrotechnics the history and art of firework making (1922).djvu/97

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In France, during the first few years of the nineteenth century, there were many pyrotechnic displays of importance. Napoleon is credited with being extremely partial to such exhibitions. Displays took place in Paris in the Champs Elysées, at the barriere Chaillot, before Les Invalides in 1801 to celebrate the foundation of the Republic, and in the following year in honour of Napoleon's arrival in that city.

Major-General Lord Blayney, who was captured by Napoleon's troops in the Peninsula in 1810, travelled on parole across Spain and France on his way to Verdun. His somewhat leisurely journey of nearly six months enabled him to witness many celebrations of French victories in the towns through which he passed. He records having seen fireworks and illuminations among other places at Malaga and Orleans.

In 1804 a display was given by Napoleon before the Hotel de Ville, Paris, on his assumption of the title of Emperor of the French. The scenery provided for this display took the form of a representation of Mount St. Bernard, with a figure symbolising Napoleon mounted on a charger on the summit.

This display was repeated in 1810 on the occasion of his marriage with Marie Louise; this time, however, the topmost feature was the Temple of Hymen, with figures of Napoleon and his bride.

Other displays were given on the bridge of Louis XVI, which appears to have been a popular position for such exhibitions, in 1800, 1804, 1806, 1820, and 1821. Another site frequently used for displays was the garden of the Senate, where Ruggieri fired displays in the years 1801, 1806 (twice), and 1807.

Fireworks continued to be a national institution in France, irrespective of the form of government. Louis Napoleon, like his uncle, being fond of fireworks, or it may be, considering