Fireworks have been in the news (and our ears) a lot this year—and it’s not even the Fourth of July yet.
With roots all the way back to 200 BC China, firework shows as we know them today were developed in Italy in the 1830s, though China continues to produce the majority of the world’s fireworks.
While major firework displays tend to command the most attention, it’s their tiny firecracker cousins that have perhaps generated the most ephemera over the years.
Michael McHenry, aka MrBrickLabel, has been collecting firework labels since he was 5 years old. He appraises, buys and sells labels, and presides over a massive archive.
As Independence Day pops off, here are 20 from his collection. Happy Fourth.