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Devil Among The Tailers - How did it work?


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#1 pyrotechnist

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:01 PM

As the title says how did this device work? to what I can see the 4 candles were fountains that burnt down until depleted and then set the mine off, am I correct?
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#2 David

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:13 PM

Do you have any photos of this? I've never heard of it- sounds a whacky name!

Edited by David, 02 August 2008 - 10:13 PM.

OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#3 Firefiend

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:40 PM

I remember them well. The four candles (Tailors) were all fused together and as they were the same, burnt down at the same rate, with the centre on igniting the mine (Devil). I have a couple of photo where you can just about make the arrangement out.

Standard Devil Amongst the Tailors (Size 12)

Standard Devil Amongst The Tailors

#4 pyrotechnist

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:45 PM

Thank you Firefiend, what type of effects was within the fountains and roman candles? also could you try and get a picture of the quick match pipe going into/over one of the tailer candles. It seemed that this item was very popular among each of the different British firework manufacturers.
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#5 dr thrust

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:52 PM

phildunford made one of these for the first "icarus meet" its here at about 1.40 secs in the video devil maybe he has some photo,s of the build, and it was beautifully built may i say.

#6 David

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 12:31 AM

I remember them well. The four candles (Tailors) were all fused together and as they were the same, burnt down at the same rate, with the centre on igniting the mine (Devil). I have a couple of photo where you can just about make the arrangement out.

Posted ImageStandard Devil Amongst the Tailors (Size 12)
Posted ImageStandard Devil Amongst The Tailors


Great photos- the first one is certainly British made, but I think the other one may be one of Standard's early Chinese imports. I suggest this because of the differences in fuses and safety instructions. Also the "made in England" label on the first one is a small clue! :P

I mention this because I find it interesting how in the early stages of importing it was simply a case of copying English style fireworks.

Edited by David, 03 August 2008 - 12:36 AM.

OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#7 Mortartube

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 01:36 AM

This is simply a mine with candles strapped around the outside and a similar candle in the middle of the mine. The candle in the mine has no clay in the bottom but a very small pressed/rammed gunpowder delay in the bottom. When all of the candles burn out, the mine goes off very shortly afterwards.

I saw the girls making these a Standard. They had a jig to hold all of the candles and they taped and fused them with match that holes punched in the piping at the right place to go over the prime of the candles.

I believe that both items in the pictures are British made as the 2nd has Blue PIC as a delay in the match. A British made product used after the 1988 BS phased out touchpaper.

Edited by Mortartube, 03 August 2008 - 01:42 AM.

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#8 Firefiend

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 04:48 AM

The 'Devil' was produced over a large number of years in this design / label. I believe it started off in the 1960's and can also be seen on Page 5 of the Standard Brochure for 1995 in the British, rather than Oriental Section:

Standard Brochure - 1995 Retail (5)

By 1999 Standard had jazzed-up the labelling, as can be seen in their Retail Brochure:

Standard Brochure - 1999 Retail

I'm not sure when the old label died out, as I do not have the 1996-98 brochures, but the last year I can find reference to the 'Devil' in any form is in the 2000 Retail Brochure.

Found one more picture as well:

Standard Firework - Devil Amongst The Tailors (2)

I used to own the live bagged one of these but unfortunately swapped it!

The quick match was just a hollow paper or plastic tube containing string covered in gunpowder. This used to burn instantaneously, so that all the candles lit at once. Not sure what the candle effects were - simply a few animated or coloured stars, as were popular in the Standard range in those days. As Mortartube says, these were a British style of firework, rather than Oriental, despite the lack of touchpaper.

#9 Rip Rap

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 08:33 AM

A couple more pics courtesy of the firework museum -

Standard pre-war poster

Pains devil

Thomas Kentish (1887) describes these great fireworks as follows -

"A devil-among-the-tailors. A mixture of crackers & serpents, a roman candle in the middle, having its bottom stopped with 1/4 an inch of shell fuse, instead of plaster of paris to communicate the fire to the blowing charge; 3 or 4, or any number of roman candles, at regular distances, round the outside; these are to be tied with string & a strip of pasted paper fastened round."
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#10 Firefiend

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 09:00 AM

Brilliant pictures Rip Rap - wish I had the 7/6 one!

By 1960s I meant in that particular label design. The ones in your pictures clearly date back as far ast the 1920s/30s.

I vaguely remember that some Mines, including Devil amongst the Tailors had small Jumping Crackers inside them - I bet that was fun for the audience!

#11 pyrotechnist

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 11:12 AM

Thank you for the information and pics :> I think I will go and try build one of these things and see how it turns out.
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#12 Rip Rap

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 11:51 AM

Brilliant pictures Rip Rap - wish I had the 7/6 one!

By 1960s I meant in that particular label design. The ones in your pictures clearly date back as far ast the 1920s/30s.

I vaguely remember that some Mines, including Devil amongst the Tailors had small Jumping Crackers inside them - I bet that was fun for the audience!


Absolutely right Firefiend - they did used to contain jumping crackers. Unfortunately I never saw one containing crackers fired :( . From descriptions that I have read, they were rapid fire "staccato" crackers - intended to produce a very quick succession of bangs & end before they hit the ground.
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#13 David

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 02:02 PM

Well, I hope to see these traditional British items in production again soon. One of the problems with the biggest commercial firework companies (Black Cat/Standard , TNT, Brothers , Men Shun etc) being internationally owned is that they arn't really inclined to follow British Traditions and firework styles.

Nothing in Standard's range (being owned by Black Cat) now remotley resembles any of the old British stuff.
OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#14 Mortartube

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 03:31 PM

True that the Internationally owned companies don't have an interest in traditional items, but there are anumber of companies who have stuff speciafically made for them in China. I can't understand why some of them don't get these things made.
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#15 pyrotrev

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 05:51 PM

Absolutely right Firefiend - they did used to contain jumping crackers. Unfortunately I never saw one containing crackers fired :( . From descriptions that I have read, they were rapid fire "staccato" crackers - intended to produce a very quick succession of bangs & end before they hit the ground.

I remember those things, though not in a DATT. They started cracking in the air, but the ones I saw hit the ground and hopped around there for a few seconds too. The DATT I had once (a smallish one) produced coloured stars before the mine. Quite a fun device, I could be persuaded to try and knock one up some time (with a suitably big mine :ph34r: ), though I'll have to work on my candle making skills first :blush:.
Trying to do something very beautiful but very dangerous very safely....




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