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Monday, September 17, 2007

Who Invented the Match?

From earliest times, in all parts of the world, people have made fire by rubbing a hard stick against a soft stick so that soft flakes of wood, sloughed off by the hard stick, started to smoulder. Another way was to use flint, a very hard stone, striking it against a lump of iron to produce sparks.
Until the eighteenth century, the only improvement on these primitive methods was the tinder box, which contained a piece of steel, flint and some dry tinder for the sparks to ignite. Tinder was often pieces of charred linen or silk; sometimes even dried fungus. The Process of raising a spark could be very time-consuming, especially, if the tinder was cold and damp.
Matches were first invented as a method of transferring the file form the smouldering tiner to where it was needed. Splinters of pine were used, their ends dipped in sulphur, which flared easily and made dangerous fumes. It is thought that the Chinese used similar sulphur matches as long ago as the sixth century. For time sulphur matches were cheap and popular, but still the tinder box was needed to make the initial spark. All over Europe scientist were trying to do away with the need for the tinder box.
The first real breakthrough came in 1827 when English Chemist John Walker invented a match with all the fire-producing compounds in its head. He called them ‘friction lights’, because the flame was created by friction, and soon the idea was taken up by large manufacturers who made them in their millions


White_Angel September 18, 2007 at 1:30 AM  

I like your blog...
good things for you.