The Manufacturer and Builder 8, 1877
For flashes of short duration, it is best to soak pieces of unsized paper in a solution of the chemical compound producing the color; and in order to make it burn with sufficient rapidity, treat the paper as cotton is treated for making gun-cotton, or use gun-cotton itself. If you use paper, take unsized paper and soak it for ten minutes in a mixture consisting of 4 volumes of sulphuric and 5 volumes of strong fuming nitric acid; wash out in warm water, and dry. Such paper will burn with a white flash. To make it burn red, dip it in a solution of strontium chlorid; for green, barium chlorid; for violet, potassium nitrate; for blue, copper chlorid.