Berthold Schwarz, gunpowder pioneer

Berthold Schwarz, gunpowder pioneer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Berthold Schwarz. Engraving of Berthold Schwarz (flourished 14th century), German monk, alchemist and inventor of using gunpowder to shoot projectiles. A semi-legendary figure, Schwarz is shown firing a gunpowder charge with a spark from a flint and steel to shoot a block into the air. Although guns were invented in Europe, rockets had previously been used by the Chinese and Arabs for military purposes. Engraving taken from a 1640 book. The picture's inscription wrongly claims that Schwarz devised gunpowder weapons in 1380; gunpowder weapons were in use by the early 14th century.

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Keywords: alchemist, berthold, gunpowder, pioneer, portraits, schwarz, surname s

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