Vintage Chinese firecracker label-art

MrBrickLabel has a Flickr set of absolutely gorgeous vintage Chinese firecracker labels.

I have been collecting firecracker and firework labels since I was 5 years old (1968). I appraise, buy, sell and trade firecracker labels. Everything you see here could possibly be for trade. I will try to post everything eventually. Hopefully more collectors can do the same and we can use this as a trading and sharing tool...

My Collection of Chinese Firecracker Labels (via Neatorama)


  1. Completely unrelated, just a tidbit that the girl who is supposedly “Gem” in the Cupid ad on BB is actually Erin Drewes who was in Playboy a while back. Yay for vaguely inaccurate advertising.

  2. If this was “Made In Macau” before 1999 it’s not Chinese, but in fact Portuguese!…

    1. Well, I guess that depends what you mean by these labels.  It’s almost certain that all the workers were of Chinese ethnicity, and the factory managers and owners probably as well.

      1. That still doesn’t make it Chinese. Although I wouldn’t call it Portuguese but “from Macau”… the same way I wouldn’t say British but “from Hong Kong” . 

        Would you say a product made in the US is “Chinese”, “British”, “Israeli”… based on the ethnicity of the person who made it? At least I assume that when somebody says a product is “Chinese” it is either because the products reflects the culture of China (so lilly-white-European me can make a “Chinese lantern”… and when my now-European daughter makes it it is _not_ because she is of Chinese decent, but because the _lantern_ is based on Chinese culture!) or that it was made in the country of China. Calling it “Chinese” (or some other ethnicity/country) only because the person who made it is of that ethnicity, no matter where the person lives… that’s just… wrong! At least to me it sounds like racism (“You are not part of us!”).

        1. And when I go to the local Chinese restaurant staffed largely by second-or-third generation Chinese families and order off a menu based on what we’d acknowledge as “Chinese” recipes I would be grossly inaccurate to say I ate “Chinese food” tonight?

          We have a local Farmers Market where an individual of German extraction sells “German Sausages”. Clearly he is lying!

          We’ll have to bear that in mind next time we order “French fries” or a “Warldorf salad” outside of its place of origin.

          1. Supposed the Chinese restaurant had a staff that is largely NOT ethnic Chinese, but they still sell the same kind of food. Would you  still call it “Chinese food”?

            What if you go to a McD, and you noticed that the staff is mostly ethnic Chinese. Would you then say that you just had “Chinese food”?

          2. It’s because of the culture the products represent. Or did you actually think the French Fries were fried for you by people of French ethnicity? (Oh… and French Fries are actually of Belgian origin… or so I hear.) Or that the sausages were “German Sausages” because the guy is of German origin? So the ones his (hypotetical) French wife made, by exactly the same recipe and methods, should then be labeled “French Sausages”????

          3. If you’re ordering from the menu, you’re probably not eating real Chinese food.  There’s a whole other secret, unwritten menu for people who know what to ask for.

          4. I guess it sounds like I was making a big deal over the people, when I was more intending to describe the products. 
            Yes I certainly do think we can get “Chinese food” from a non Chinese cook. And what makes the sausages “German” is the recipe and method.
            Which is why I think it’s perfectly fine to talk about Chinese firecrackers from Macau.

        2. I see how my comment could be read as equating identity and ethnicity, but that certainly wasn’t my intent.  What I was arguing was that the territory taken by Portugal (or the UK, or French concessions in Shanghai, or German control of Qingdao) doesn’t in any meaningful sense stop being Chinese just because an imperial power is running it.

          Certainly the People’s Republic of China doesn’t think so, and I’d doubt that the workers who made these fireworks felt that way either.

      2. In which case half of the British businesses with warehouses are actually Polish.

        I’ll make a note of this new information, as it’s going to get complicated.

      3. I’m going along with “not Chinese”. The rocket in the picture clearly says “USA”

  3. That little thing that looks like a badminton cock in the space age package is the Gemini capsule from the Mercury era. John Glenn woulda ridden in one of these.

    Edit, Well it looks like the Mercury capsule once I checked. I was really young then, so forgive my smooshing them together.

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