Gunpowder

Gunpowder

800

Invented by Chinese alchemists, gunpowder is one of the deadliest-ever human creations. In its original form — a mix of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur — it was used to power a fire lance, a primitive spear launcher made from a bamboo tube and reinforced with metal hoops. Through the Middle Ages its use became ever-more refined for shooting cannons and muskets.