SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Exterior of a French powder magazine in the 19th century. If there is an explosion in a magazine where the walls are heavy and strong they will be reduced to pieces which become projectiles. To overcome this the magazines built at Bouchet had two of the four walls and the roof made of lightweight materials. In an explosion, only the roof would be taken away by the blast and the extent of damage would be reduced. The magazine illustrated here has lightning conductor rods placed at each corner following an instruction in 1867 by the Academy of Sciences in Paris, based on the researches of Benjamin Franklin. Today, strict licensing rules determine the construction of buildings and their separation depending on the degree of hazard ranging from mass explosions down to fireworks manufacture and storage. They can include the surrounding of buildings with earth mounds.
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