The reason I believe, that we escaped with our lives is because we did not finely grind the charcoal and sulfur and we had a very loose, dry mix which will not burn fast, hence, the giant sparkler and not an explosion.As a kid in high school, a long time ago, my best friend and I would make our own black powder to shoot our golf ball cannon at his families chicken coop. Put holes in it and the chickens did not lay eggs for a day or two. One day in our lab in the basement of his family home, we had a quart jar of powder with no cover and Rich was smoking a Kool cigarette hanging from his mouth as he grabbed the jar of powder, a spark from his smoke landed in the powder. I was trapped in this little lab, 6ft wide by 12 ft long and one entrance, so I thru myself under the work bench waiting for an explosion. He was scared stiff and held on to the jar as it became this giant sparkler until the glass got so hot, the bottom dropped out with about the remaining 1/3 of powder which became a giant ball of sparkles. Point is: it did not explode as it was not packed with anything. He burned his hand a bit and I nearly crapped my pants. His Mom on the other hand freaked out and the lab closed down. Stupid kids! Man them golf balls could wreak destruction on what they hit, though. How did we get to be adults? Our next adventure was making homebrewed napalm. That was interesting.