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Uploaded on on Sep 5, 2021


A match is a device used to ignite a fire. Matches are often constructed of tiny wooden sticks or stiff paper. The match is coated on one end with a substance that may be lit by frictional heat created when it is struck against a suitable surface. Paper matches are partially cut into rows and stitched into matchbooks, whereas wooden matches are packaged in matchboxes. The match “head,” or coated end of a match, is made up of a bead of active chemicals and a binder; it’s typically colored to make examination simpler. There are two sorts of matches: safety matches and strike-anywhere matches. Safety matches can only be struck against a properly prepared surface, whereas strike-anywhere matches can be hit against any suitable frictional surface.

Long lengths of rope (later cambric) coated with chemicals and let to burn constantly were referred to as matches in the past. These were used to start fires and fire weapons and cannons (see matchlock) (see linstock). Quick matches and slow matches were two types of matches that were distinguished by their burning pace. A slow match burns at a pace of approximately 30 cm (1 foot) per hour, whereas a rapid match burns at 4 to 60 centimeters (2 to 24 in) per minute, depending on its composition.

The simple fuse, which is still employed in pyrotechnics to provide a regulated time delay before igniting, is the current counterpart of this type of match. Some pyrotechnic names, such as black match (a black-powder-impregnated fuse) and Bengal match, still utilize the original sense of the word. However, when friction matches grew more widespread, they became the primary item to which the word referred.


The term “match” comes from the Old French word “mèche,” which refers to a candle’s wick.

Prior to the invention of matches, fires were occasionally started by focusing the sun on tinder using a burning glass (a lens), a method that could only operate on bright days. Igniting tinder with sparks produced by striking flint and steel or by rapidly increasing air pressure in a fire piston was a more common method. Hennig Brand, an alchemist, was the first to discover the flammable nature of phosphorus in 1669. Others, such as Robert Boyle and his assistant, Ambrose Godfrey, continued the experiments with phosphorus and sulfur in the 1680s, but their efforts failed to produce practical and inexpensive fire-making methods.

To light smoking tobacco, a variety of methods were used, including One was the use of a spill, which was a thin object, such as a thin candle, rolled paper, or a straw, that was lit from a nearby, already existing flame and then used to light the cigar or pipe, and was usually kept near the fireplace in a spill vase. Another method saw the use of a striker, a tool that looked like scissors but with flint on one “blade” and steel on the other. These would then be rubbed together, ultimately producing sparks. If neither of these two was available, one could also use ember tongs to pick up coal from a fire and light the tobacco directly.

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