Our neighbor boys had some cherry bomb firecrackers that their older brothers had bought for them. This was a time when fireworks were legal in Pennsylvania. I was visiting them and they were looking for an ingenious way to use them. The loud noise wasn’t enough for them. An idea came to them as they were rummaginging around in a scrap pile. They had already put a fiirecracker under a can and watched it fly into the air with the explosion.
Pulling an old metal bedstead out from the other items in the pile, they carried it to a level place. They pushed one end into the soft ground at a slight angle, while the other open end aimed skyward. They dropped a lit cherry bomb into the tube, It was cool to hear the ringing thunder and see the flying paper and smoke. It was impressive, but not impressive enough.
They found the large tomato can that they had used earlier, lit another sherry bomb, dropped it and then the can collowed down the bedstead tube.
Boom! The can flew nearly twenty feet into the air. I thought it was great, but they wanted more.
Retrieving the can, they filled it nearly half full with the pea –sized gravel and dropped it down the cannon after the lit firecracker. (That was what they were caling the bedstead by now.)
BOOM!. The weight of the can must have caused a greater compression before the can wa forced out, because it shot about another ten feet higher. The gravel flew out of the can. Some it ripper leaves from the branches of the oak trees overhead. The scattering gravel fell back onto our heads, some down the driveway, and some hit their dad’s pick up truck parked near the house.
Although they still had several cherry bombs, they wisely chose to save them for another day and the cannon went back to the scrap heap.