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Beckman, Sir Martin (1634/5–1702), pyrotechnist and military engineer, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of Melcher Beckman and his wife, Christiana van Benningen. Their names and his profession suggest a Dutch origin.

By his own account Beckman left his native Sweden about 1645 in order to serve the English crown. His brother served as a royalist captain in the civil war and was royal engineer to the exiled ...

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Torré, Giovanni Battista (fl. 1753–1776), pyrotechnician and print publisher, was born in Italy and studied under the scene-painter Servandoni. He first travelled to London in 1753 to work with the Brock family on their firework displays at Marylebone Gardens. However, until 1771 he resided mostly in ...