How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Matches

Fire

The first self-igniting match was invented in 1805 by K. Chancel and consisted of a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulphur, sugar and rubber.

Starter

Despite Chancel’s invention, the matches never took off as to be lit they needed to be dipped in a small, portable bottle of sulphuric acid.

Inch-stick

Chinese author Tao Gu records that an early form of match was referred to in China as both a “light-bringing slave” and later a “fire inch-stick”.

Guns

Traditionally, the term ‘match’ referred to a length of cord coated with chemicals that burned slowly and consistently. They were used to set off explosive weapons.

Philly

The hobby of collecting different match-related items – including matches, matchboxes, matchbooks and match safes – is referred to as phillumeny.




  • Thomas

    “Despite Chancel’s invention, the matches never took off as to be lit they needed to be dipped in a small, portable bottle of sulphuric acid.”

    As self-igniting as my self writing postcard then?

    The postcard never took off as to completed they needed to be written on by a small, portable biro pen

    • The fact refers to how in the modern day matches can be lit from the box, but when they were first invented they needed an extra bottle of acid for dipping at all times, hope this helps!