For those interested, a chat about the history of this website, a somewhat bulky story; you just need to sit down, skipping can also ofcourse.. :)
Somewhere in January 2003 after the New Year's Eve celebration, I wondered; "Are there ex-label collectors who do something on the Internet?" I'm not the only one who has collected labels in the early years (70s and 80s).  Through the, in 2003, popular search engine AltaVista I came up on after a while; the site of François which has teh subject: Dutch firecrackers from the early years. So; still at least one person who has labels, packages and other relics of old fireworks. After some back and forth mailing with François I bought a scanner and scanned the first labels from my own collection, the labels were literally in the crate with primary school reports, swimming certificates and other things from my childhood. The idea of ​​a own website was completely absent; did not even know that was possible withour being a HTML wizz-kid.

eerste bannerFirst banner for the MS Frontpage 1.0 website, on the left Cor Kouwenaar, nostalgic extremist. (Dutch gimmick)


Meanwhile, on AVP season 2003/2004 had several 'nostalgia dudes' found each other on the forum. (Short: AVP was a huge dutch years eve community site with thousands members). From every nook and cranny emerged the older fireworks fanatics, with many old photographs, labels, antique dummy's, stories and experiences. Some of these 'nostalgia dudes' became later the founders of the "First Dutch fireworks museum" website. Scanning the labels and mail to François continued too (email could then only 1Mb to additional data contain and lasted for hours with the dial-up connection). Meanwhile, there were still more guys interested in digital versions of the labels; emailen them was too much hassle, there must be another way. Then, in 2004, having a own website was all the rage, and I soon discovered that I had free 25Mb (then 25Mb was a huge space) server space through my World Access ISP. It took a while before everything worked properly and I sit for hours fiddling around with HTML but eventually everyone could download the labels themselves from my homepage which stood in an open directory. That's how it was back in the days.

verz1Left to right: me in 1978, my old neighbourhood. Typical firework stash from the seventies. The labels today.

One thing leads to another; soon came Microsoft FrontPage version 1.0 on my PC and I found that web pages building with such editor was not so difficult. Following the closure of AVP in February 2004 I really went to work; Two months later my label site online version 1.0. The first version of the site was no more than a collection of HTML pages with long tables with the labels jpg's. One way or another, the number of new labels was increasing by all sorts of contacts with fireworks importers and shops who donated old dummies. These contacts arose more or less spontaneously, partly due to the growing website The label site grew out of his joints, 25Mb was not much and the pure HTML pages created the site slow and poor maintenance. Things had to be modernized, again.. In 2006 I started up the "Coppermine photo gallery script. I was just a little way around HTML .. So back into the books learning MySQL and PHP basics. Claimed the domain with a few hundred Mb server space.


banner 2De Second banner, still chaotic artwork. Site in html and php for the gallery


In October 2006 I got in touch with Jan; Finally; there was someone who had not put his label collection in the waste paper bin. In holland there are too many old collectors who have done that. During the Zena Trophy (A fireworks display contest for non-pyrotechnics) in Baarle-Nassau I was on loan to the crate with teh labels, the scanner stood in January 2007 again red hot. The collection of Jan contains many labels that I do not own. So, they made an excellent upgrade for my label site. On August 1 at 00:00 the website came online, on that warm summer evening there where several die-hard nostalgia dudes awaiting for the 00:00 time, it should not be crazier. :)


verz2Left to right; fragment from a 1973 dutch firework ordering list, typical firework stash from the 80s. Last; the ultimate firecracker artwork in Holland from the seventies. Artwork without logo's, text.

But then; In late 2008, Maurijn bought via a dutch ebay site a very large label collection, the smallest difference was a reason to archive the label. As an example, the Tri-Colour Fountain, a real classic, these are fifteen different collection; and those are only the old models of more than 25 years old. The total number of labels is approximately 1500 pieces, most at least 15 years old. Maurijn did not want a label website of his own but liked the idea that the labels would be visible over the internet for all enthusiasts. So, another expansion for this site was coming.

The Maurijn label collection would reach fans through my website. The existing layout of the site was in 2009 not suitable for these hiuge numbers of labels, after much deliberation, decided not to build on the old Coppermine setup but to completely start over. In March 2009 the existing site went off-line for the conversion; entirely to the popular CMS Joomla 1.5.


banner 3The third banner, made by Francois. Banner is not in use anymore but earns this place, is looks great.


In November 2014, Rob came up with the big news that his label collection (mainly 70s and 80s) was found again, very good news for Rob, of course, but also for the now growing army of classical fireworks enthusiasts. Rob's collection contains many known labels but also some completely new models. 

Then the latest news: Around June 2015 I was thinking to make a quick update to Joomla 3.4, turned out to be a disaster, in the end we took the complete server empty. The fresh start made it easier to configue the website bilingual; wich always was a wish. That's it for now, Enjoy!