Science of Matches

How fire has been utilized

01 How fire has been utilized
02 From manufacturing to distribution
03 How many kinds of matches
04 Chemicals for matches
05 Matchsticks
06 Matches and the nature environment
07 When you strike a match
08 Match Day
09 Japanese Matches
10 Matches in Hyogo Prefecture
It is said that technical skill of using fire divides humans from other animals. In ancient time, human being started fire by rubbing wooden pieces, stones or metallic pieces with friction and pressure. Those days, fire was worshiped as a sacred object, and even now ceremony of starting fire by rubbing wooden pieces with friction is performed to worship fire at shrine festival. (Izumo Shrine and Ise Shrine)
During Edo Period, fire starting was mostly by friction of metallic piece and stone, and it was called ghiuchi-ishih (flint). Matches as you see nowadays were originally made by J. Walker, in England in 1827, and the safety match, for which chemical is pasted on the side of matchbox to hit it with a wooden stick to start fire, was invented in 1855 in Sweden. In Japan, Makoto Shimizu started match production in 1875, and Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.A. were three major match-manufacturing countries during Meiji and Taisho Period (around 1867 - 1925). Currently matches are used to light cigarette, fireworks, or oil stoves, and incense sticks at Buddhist altar or at the cemetery.

02 From manufacturing to distribution

03 How many kinds of matches