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Photos: Weird and/or offensive vintage fireworks

The 4th of July is behind us, but not fireworks. We'll likely be hearing explosions throughout the weekend — even in places that have prohibited fireworks due to the high fire danger. Such bans were rare back in the day, even though a lot of the fireworks made during the first half of the 20th Century look dangerous as hell. As proof, check out the following gallery of fireworks catalog items from a collection assembled at Fireworksland.com. Some of them are odd, others are bizarre and the top pick is so flat-out offensive that our jaw is still on the floor. Check them out below. Number 10: Wild elephant Talk about an endangered species. Number 9: Auto joke bomb Always a favorite with members of the Mafia. Continue to keep counting down our gallery of weird and/or offensive vintage fireworks. Number 8: Battle mines A perfect way to keep the neighborhood kids on their toes. Number 7: White mule It packs one helluva kick.... Continue to keep counting down our gallery of weird and/or offensive vintage fireworks. Number 6: Firecracker cannon Why shoot over people's heads when you can aim right at them? Number 5: Spark plug bombs Continuing the hilarious theme of making drivers think their car is exploding. Continue to keep counting down our gallery of weird and/or offensive vintage fireworks. Number 4: Fireplane Not recommended for people with a fear of flying. Number 3: Tire bombs Flat tires have never been funnier! Continue to keep counting down our gallery of weird and/or offensive vintage fireworks. Number 2: Yowling Tiger Who doesn't love watching a majestic beast being ripped apart? Number 1: Smoking Sambo An incredibly offensive sign of the times. At least whoever thought of this is ashes by now....

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive circa June 2011: "Elitch Gardens fireworks show lights up the night, but fizzles with some downtown residents."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts