History of Matches
One of the products that we provide machine is for matches, which, as everyone knows, are used to light fire where and whenever you want to. Before the first matches or lighters, doing such simple things as fire for kitchens or light were real nightmares… but… where do matches come from?
The secret of the matches is phosphorus.
Around 1670, Hennig Brand, a German alchemist discovered phosphorus while looking for a substance to convert non-precious precious metals into silver.
Brand gathered hundreds of human urine samples in order to spray it on metal. To this purpose, he stored it and took it to the boiling point, therefore removing all the water contained in it. As a result he obtained a white substance that glowed in the dark with a greenish tone and also very flammable. By chance Brand had discovered phosphorus; a new element in the periodic table.
One century later, Scheele, another scientist, was able to synthesize phosphorus from charred bones. On the nineteenth century this was improved by adding potassium chlorate and sugar to the sulphur. John Walker was the one who devised the matches as we know them today, and as often happens, such discovery was due to an accident.
This Walker had a pharmacy, and tried to create a new type of explosive by mixing different types of chemicals, which he stirred with a stick. In one of the attempts, a tear of phosphorus and other chemicals got stuck, and trying to remove it by scratching the ground, the stick set on fire just like a match today.
Michael Faraday urged him that this was his invention, but was denied for not considering himself as a real inventor. Samuel Jones registered the patent instead the same year…
Read More: Mathed Making History
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