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When the first match?

Matches were invented relatively recently - in the early nineteenth century. Before this time made fire in another way. Instead of a box of matches people wore in his pocket a little box with three items: a piece of steel, a small stone and a piece of something like sponges. If you had asked what it was, you would say that steel is flint, a stone is a flint, and a piece of sponge - RUB.

A whole bunch of things instead of one match!

How, then, made fire?

Here sits a man in a colorful robe, with a long pipe in his mouth. In one hand he holds the flint in the other flint and tinder. He strikes the flint of flint. Any result! Again. Nothing again. Again. From flint spark jumps out, but does not ignite tinder. Finally, in the fourth or fifth time tinder flashes.

In fact, it's the same lighter. The lighter also has a stone, is a piece of steel - wheel, there is a tinder - wick soaked in gasoline.

Carving the fire is not so easy. At least, when European travelers wanted to teach the Greenland Eskimos to make fire in this way, the Eskimos refused. They felt that their old way better: they made fire by friction, as primitive people, rotating belt, stick, put on a piece of dry wood. Spontaneous ignition of wood occurs at 300 degrees - can you imagine how much effort required to heat a wooden stick to such temperature!

The Europeans were also not averse to replace the flint and flint with something more convenient. On sale now and then there were all sorts of "chemical flint, one other tomorrow is a new day.

So, there were matches, zhiganshina from touching sulfuric acid. The head of this match consisted of a mixture of sulfur, bertoletova salt (KClO3) and cinnabar. In 1813 in Vienna Malian and Vic was first registered in Austria-Hungary match manufactory for the production of chemical matches. The disadvantage of this type of matches is obvious: under the hand should always be sulfuric acid is a dangerous chemical.

Were matches with a glass cylinder, which had to be crushed with a pair of pliers to match broke out; there were, finally, the whole instruments of glass is a very complicated device.

 John Walker (John Walker)
John Walker (John Walker)

In 1826, the English chemist and druggist John Walker invented sulfur matches, and did so, as often happens, quite by accident. Walker was interested in ways of obtaining quick fire, but without an explosion, so that the fire could slowly move the tree from combustible mixture. Once he mixed the chemicals with the aid of a stick, and at the end of this stick was formed and dried straw. To remove it, he struck a stick on the floor. The fire started! Walker immediately appreciated the practical value of his opening and began to experiment, and then to produce a match. In one box was 50 matches, and it cost 1 shilling. Each box was supplied a piece of sandpaper folded in half. Walker called his match "Congreve" in honor of the inventor William Congreve.

April 7, 1827, Walker held its first commercial deal: he sold the first sulfur matches lawyer Nixon.

Head in matches John Walker consisted of a mixture of sulphide of antimony, bertoletova salt and gum Arabic viscous substances, which emit acacia (also called gum). The friction of this match on sandpaper or other rough enough surface its head is easily ignited.

Box of matches - Luciferian
Box of matches-"Luciferian"

Match Walker, burned, has left a bad memory in the form of a nasty sulfur dioxide, scattered around him during fire clouds of sparks and were the length of a yard (90 cm).

Neither glory, nor riches matches the Walker to no avail. To patent his invention Walker did not want, although many tried to persuade him about this, for example, Michael Faraday. And here is a guy by the name of Samuel Jones, who once was present at the demonstration "congreves"estimated market value of the invention. He called the match "luciferic", and began to sell tons of them - "luciferic" demand, despite all their shortcomings. Packed these matches in tin canisters of 100 pieces.

This continued up until in 1830, a young French chemist Charles Soria not invented phosphorus matches, consisting of a mixture of bertoletova salt, white phosphorus and glue.

Charles Soria
Charles Soria (Charles Sauria)

Phosphorus is a substance that lights up at the very low heating - up to 60 degrees. It would seem that the best material for matches and there wasn't. However, this advantage of phosphorous matches was their main drawback. To strike a match, it was enough to strike it against the wall or even on the top. What's there to strike such a match would light up even the mutual friction in the box during transport! In England there was even an anecdote: a match says another, poluobmoroke: "See what ends your bad habit of scratching your head!"

When the match was on fire, an explosion occurred. Head scattered in parts, like a small bomb.

Much worse was the fact that matches white phosphorus is very poisonous. The manufacture of such matches was harmful: when working in match factories from the fumes of white phosphorus has become a very serious disease - necrosis of the bones. Suicide of the time solved my problem very easily, just by eating a few match heads. Nothing to say about numerous poisoning phosphorus matches due to careless handling!

Another disadvantage of matches Walker and Soria was unstable ignition of the handle matches the time of the combustion head was very small. The yield was found in the invention of the phosphorus-sulfur matches, the head of which was made in two stages - first the stalk dipped in a mixture of sulfur, wax or stearin, a small amount of bertoletova salt and glue, and then in a mixture of white phosphorus, bertoletova salt and glue. Flash phosphorus lit more slowly burning a mixture of sulfur and wax, and from it were lit stalk matches.

Had phosphorous matches another disadvantage is repaid cuttings matches continued to smolder, which often resulted in fires. This problem was solved, soaking the handle matches phosphate ammonium (NH4H2PO4). Such matches were called impregnated (eng. impregnated - impregnated) and later safe. For stable combustion of the cutting began impregnated with wax or stearin (later paraffin).

Brothers lundström
Brothers Lundstrem

In 1853 appeared finally "safe"or "Swedish", matches that we use and sachsida became possible as a result of the opening in 1847 red phosphorus, which, unlike white, not poisonous. Red phosphorus has received the Austrian chemist A. Szretter heating white phosphorus at 500°C in an atmosphere of carbon monoxide (CO) in a sealed glass ampoule. Swedish chemist Johan lundström caused red phosphorus on the surface with emery paper and replaced them with white phosphorus in the composition of the head of a match. Such a match is not brought harm to the health, easily lit on prepared surface and almost didn't snowspeeders. Johan lundström patented the first "Swedish match", survived almost unchanged.

Younger brother Johan lundström, Karl France Lundstrem (1823-1917) was an entrepreneur with many bold ideas. The brothers founded the match factory in Jönköping in 1844-1845 years. In the first years of its existence, the factory of brothers Lundstrem produce matches of yellow phosphorus. Manufacture of safety matches began in 1853 and at the same time Karl France Lundstrem began to export matches in England.

Matches Lundstrem had great success at the world exhibition in Paris in 1855, receiving a silver medal for the fact that the method of their production is not threatened the health of the workers. But due to the fact that the match were quite expensive, commercial success came to the brothers only in 1868. In the first years after the Foundation of the factory Lundstrem produced 4 400 match boxes per year, and in 1896 they were produced for seven million! So Swedish match conquered the whole world.

Used literature:
1. M. Ilyin. "Tales of things"


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