Story Behind Inventors and Inventions Friction Match

About the origins, history and story behind the scenes of the inventor and invention of the friction match.

Extraordinary Stories behind Ordinary Objects That Had to Be Invented by Someone

Invention: Friction match

Inventor: John Walker, England

Year: 1827

How Invented: A lucky accident led to the invention of the first friction match. John Walker, a chemist in Stockton-on-Tees, England, struck a stick coated with potash and antimony against the floor and it burst into flame. Although Walker's first matches were made of cardboard, similar to book-matches, he soon began to use wooden splints cut by hand. Later, he packaged the matches in a cardboard box equipped with a piece of sandpaper for striking. The match was never patented by Walker, but for the rest of his life he continued to produce friction matches as an addition to his regular trade.

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