The Invention of Gun Powder

The invention of Gun Powder was actually an accident when ancient alchemists in China spent centuries to discover an elixir of life that would render the user immortal. This mixture had no discernible life-lengthening properties, but it did explode when exposed to an open flame.

The Formulation

Why Did I Choose Gun Powder?

I chose because Gun powder has greatly effected the world in a negative and positive way. Not only has it revolutionized the art of war it has also givin the forces of civilization a vast advantage over mere numbers.


850- Gunpowder is invented by the Chinese

900- Chinese used primitive gunpowder devices against the Mongols

920- Primitive flame thrower invented

1127- First recorded use of the cannon

1280- Europe finds the recipe for gunpowder 1380- Hand guns used across Europe

1400- Reloading mechanism improved- matchlock invented

1425- Hand guns became accurate and could pierce armor regularly

1498- Rifling invented- improved the accuracy of a gun

1509- Firing mechanism improved- Wheel lock invented 1605- The Gunpowder Plot

1630- Firing mechanism improved- Flintlock invented

1640- Bayonets invented

1862- First automatic weapon invented- Gatling guns

1879- First detachable magazine invented by James Lee

1895- First gun using a detachable magazine- The Lee Enfield

1903- First automatic rifle invented- Winchester

1914- World War I begins

1917- Browning Automatic Rifle invented

1918- World War I ends

Primary Source

The Wujing Zongyao is the first written document about the invention and formula for Gunpowder on record and dates back to 1044 AD. The Book translates to "Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques". Not only does the book cover the invention of Gunpowder but also covers the inventions of ancient Chinese artillery made in that time period. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. I chose to use this primary source because it ultimately covers almost everything related to the invention of gunpowder as well as the invention itself.

Related Facts: Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder plot of 1605 was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder;enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble.


We still use gunpowder till this day for example guns and fireworks. It effects everyone by serving protection or even helping someone commit murder. Gunpowder can effect anyone in either a positive or negative way depending on how its used.