Letter | Published:

Safety Matches

Naturevolume 13page512 (1876) | Download Citation



MR. TOMLINSON'S remarks on safety-matches in NATURE, vol. xiii., p. 469, reminded me that, not long ago I accidentally kindled one of those matches by rubbing it on the edge of a Wedgwood-ware mortar. This material appears even better adapted than those mentioned by Mr. Tomlinson for igniting such matches, and I found that a common earthenware dish (glazed inside) answered the same purpose admirably. I tried to ascertain the degree of certainty with which a safety-match could be kindled by friction against these two materials, and was surprised to find that they are little inferior in this respect to amorphous phosphorus itself. After a little practice in the manner of striking, it is easy to kindle nearly every match. Thus I have lighted forty matches out of fourty-four (most of them at the first or second stroke), using the glazed portion of the basin referred to. I should add that the surface becomes improved by use, which can hardly be said of the composition on the sides of the safety-match boxes.

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  1. Manchester



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