The very first ‘matches’ were designed by early man when he had discovered fire. Rubbing two pieces of flint together to create a spark with which to ignite dry leaves is a basic fire-lighting creation.

Modern matches were made possible by the discovery of phosphorus, a substance which catches fire at a low temperature.

In the nineteenth century, various forms of ‘matches’ were designed using phosphorus. Often, stripes of wood were tipped with white or yellow phosphorus. However white and yellow phosphorus is highly flammable, and dangerous to use.

The first safety matches were made in Sweden in 1844, with the introduction of non-poisonous red phosphorous. Instead of putting all the necessary chemicals for ignition on the match-head, the red phosphorous was painted onto the striking surface of the match box.

Fact File

Stone Age people made fire using a simple wooden stick called a fire drill. The drill was turned quickly over a piece of dry wood until it produced enough heat to start the fire.


Picture Credit : Google