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Who invented the match?


To answer this question we first of all have to define which type of match we are talking about.
History has presented many different types of that little helpful wonder.
Looking at history you find blazing sticks with brimstone mentioned both in the Roman Empire and in China in the year of 500.
Not until 1669 we have the match as we know it today.
It was the German business man and alchemist Henning Brand who discovered the flammable element phosphorus.
Eleven years later the Irish/English philosopher, chemist and physicist Robert Boyle discovered that if you rub phosphorus and brimstone with each other you get flames! The idea behind the match was born.

Dip matches.
The French chemist Jean Chancel invented in 1805 the so-called dip match: You dip a stick with a fuse of caliumclorat, brimstone, sugar, rubber arabicum and other material in a jar with concentrated brimstone acid and the stick takes fire. It smelt awful and generated yellow steams!
Later on the idea was patented by Samuel Jones, who manufactured these chemical fire-bombs under the name “Promethean” matches.

Friction match.
In 1827 – the year after the abovementioned fire-bombs had been patented – the English chemist John Walker started to make the friction match.
With the little tin sandpaper was included and instead of a little jar with brimstone acid you had to strike the stick against the sandpaper. The stick was among other things dipped with antimonsulfid, caliumclorat and brimstone.
However, they were very unpredictable and dangerous so as soon as people could buy them they got the name “Lucifers”! In Holland they still use that name for matches.

The modern safety match.
In 1844 the Swedish professor Gustav Erik Pasch invented the friction surface with red phosphorus. He took out a patent for the invention. The basis for the modern match industry was created. He also separated the substances by placing the friction surface on the box – the safety match was born!
In 1858 the Swedish producer Johan Edvard Lundström produced 12 million safety matches.


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