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Seeing this brings back memories of my youth. When I was 12 I used to do this on the kitchen stove burner. Of course, back then coffee cans had metal lids that would fit back on the can. I simply punched a hole in the center of the lid, filled the can half full of wooden clothes pins (w/o the metal spring) and placed it on the electric burner. As soon as the gasses started coming out I would lite the gas with a match. Once the flame went out I would turn of the burner and wait for the contents and can to cool. I used the charcoal that I produced to make my own gun powder (black powder). I used the gun powder to power homemade rockets. I'm lucky to have survived my youth with all my fingers. Ha!
Back then (1963) you could walk into any drug store and buy sulfur and potassium nitrate. I just had to ask the pharmacist. He'd say, "So... you're making your own gun powder, right?" I was a geek at 12 in oh so many ways. :)
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