Fireworks by Grucci
Fireworks by Grucci is a fireworks company headquartered in Bellport on New York's Long Island. It has been a family run business since 1850. The company's main fireworks office and operations are in Bellport, NY with a manufacturing and government work factory in Radford, Virginia.
The company traces its pyrotechnic roots to Bari, Italy, where Angelo Lanzetta reportedly was an apprentice to an Italian fireworks family. Lanzetta was the great-great-grandfather of Felix Grucci Sr., after whom the company was named.
Grucci Sr. continued to develop the company with such innovations as the stringless shell, which improved fireworks safety by eliminating burning fallout. The company also developed mock atomic bomb tests for the Department of Defense. The Grucci family received accolades for its performance on the Charles River in Boston during the 1976 bicentennial celebration, its first major performance outside the New York metropolitan area.
In 1979, the Gruccis became the first American family to win the Gold Medal for the United States at the annual Monte Carlo International Fireworks Competition, an event revered by the fireworks industry as the most prestigious competition in the world. This also earned the family their nickname, "America's First Family of Fireworks," from the New York press.
In 1983, disaster struck the company when an explosion at the company's factory in Bellport, New York killed two family members and heavily damaged dozens of nearby homes. As a result, the company moved its operations from Bellport to Yaphank, New York, a more secluded area.
Grucci's Brookhaven facility is set in a tightly controlled enclosure. Safety is kept at a premium by using caution signs, eight-foot-high barbed wire fencing, and huge sand-and-gravel barriers. In addition, copper plates are placed on the outside of the assembly buildings to discharge static, while no more than four workers are allowed at a time in any one building.
Fireworks by Grucci has adapted the use of technology, including the use of computers to electronically fire the shells. It has also switched from using the traditionally used cardboard gun barrels to fiberglass and steel, which is better able to absorb a misfire.
Fireworks by Grucci has produced fireworks displays for various United States and international events, including:
- Seven consecutive U.S. Presidential inaugurations beginning with Ronald Reagan;
- Statue of Liberty Centennial (1986);
- Brooklyn Bridge Centennial;
- Olympic Games in Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Beijing, and more;
- World's Fairs in Knoxville, Tennessee, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Taejon, Korea
- Dubai 2014 fireworks display, a Guinness world record. Including 479,651 shells fired in just six minutes on New Year's Eve, at a rate of almost 80K shells per minute and 1,332 fireworks per second
- Roach, John (3 July 2003). "The Explosive History of Fireworks' "First Family"". National Geographic (www.nationalgeographic.com). Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "Fireworks by Grucci: About Us". www.grucci.com. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
- Saxon, Wolfgang (12 Jan 1993). "Felix James Grucci Sr., 87, Dies; Staged Fireworks Extravaganzas". New York Times (www.nytimes.com). Retrieved 5 Jul 2010.
- Richter, Allan (2 July 2000). "The Physics of Fireworks, From Factory to Sky". The New York Times.
- Lynch, Kevin (Jan 13, 2014). "Official: Dubai smashes largest fireworks display world record with New Year's spectacular". Guinness World Records.