Pyrotol was an explosive available for a time after World War I.[1] It was reprocessed from military surplus, with a typical composition of 60% smokeless powder, 34% sodium nitrate and 6% of 40% nitroglycerin dynamite.[2] Usually used in combination with dynamite, it created an incendiary blast. Since it was very inexpensive, it was often used by farmers to remove tree stumps and clear ditches.[3] The substance was known for being used to commit the Bath School bombing in 1927.[4][5] Distribution of pyrotol for farm use was discontinued in 1928 due to exhaustion of the supply of surplus explosives.[6]


  1. ^ Virginia. Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce (1922). Yearbook 1922. Virginia Department of Agriculture and Commerce. p. 125. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Wool Production, Extension Bulletin #136(Issues 135-184). State College of Washington. April 1926. p. 74. Pyrotol is a mixture of 60% smokeless powder, 34% sodium nitrate and 6% of 40% nitroglycerin dynamite.
  3. ^ Buhk, Tobin T. (2011). True Crime : Michigan: The State's Most Notorious Criminal Cases. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-0713-8. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  4. ^ Gado, Mark. "Hell Comes to Bath". crimelibrary. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Schechter, Harold (2012). Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-0-345-52448-5.
  6. ^ "Heavy Orders Cut Supply of Pyrtol". Granite Falls Record (Newspaper Archive of Granite Falls Historical Society, Granite Falls, Washington). September 30, 1927. Retrieved December 16, 2012.