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The "Wujing Zongyao" (literally "Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques") was the first book in history to record the written formulas for gunpowder solutions containing saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal, along with many added ingredients. It also described an early form of the compass (using thermoremanence), and had the oldest illustration of a Chinese Greek Fire flamethrower with a double-acting two-piston cylinder-pump that shot a continuous blast of flame....
 
 
The "Wujing Zongyao" (literally "Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques") was the first book in history to record the written formulas for gunpowder solutions containing saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal, along with many added ingredients. It also described an early form of the compass (using thermoremanence), and had the oldest illustration of a Chinese Greek Fire flamethrower with a double-acting two-piston cylinder-pump that shot a continuous blast of flame....

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Gunpowder, also known as the retronym black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), charcoal (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3). The sulfur and...
 
       
         
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