History Inventions

7 Apr : Lighting flame was not so easy before this

At times we use things in our lives, but never think from where they actually came from. Who thought of this first and why. Someone must have understood a problem and tried to solve it in a way or the other. The whole story inside is somewhat like that.

It was an accident but proved to be a revolution.

One of the most useful thing used at your home – a match box. Although it has been replaced by lighter in the kitchen and around, still a match box is traditional.

Invented by a Chemist John Walker in 1826, the first match box was sold today in 1827.

John Walker
John Walker
A tin “Congreves” matchbox (1827), produced by John Walker, inventor of the friction match.


Walker discovered by accident that a stick coated with chemicals burst into flame when scraped across his hearth at home.

This discovery became invention and history was destroyed and created at the same time. The slow and laborious process of creating fire passed and a revolution in the name of friction match creeped in day-to-day lives.

Walker’s first friction matches were made of cardboard but he soon began to use wooden strip used to light fire. Later he packaged the matches in a cardboard box equipped with a piece of sandpaper for striking.

He was advised to patent his matches but chose not to and, as a result, Samuel Jones of London copied his idea and launched his own “Lucifers” in 1829, an exact copy of Walkers “Friction Lights”.

माचिस की डिबिया… एक छोटी सी डिबिया में कई सारी तीलियां और हर तीली जलने को तैयार… बस एक रगड़ और तीली जल उठती है… एक तरह से सोचा जाए तो ये कितना खतरनाक है तो दूसरी तरह से सोचा जाए तो ये कितना creative है… माचिस से खेलना किसी दुर्घटना को आमंत्रित करने जैसा है… लेकिन क्या आप जानते हैं कि ये माचिस एक दुर्घटना की वजह से ही दुनिया के सामने आ पाया… माचिस को बनाने वाले वैज्ञानिक जॉन वॉकर ने अचानक ही देखा कि केमिकल की एक परत लकड़ी की तीली को जलने पर मजबूर कर देता है, बस ज़रूरत है एक हल्की सी रगड़ की। बहुत जल्द ही जॉन वॉकर ने इसे वैसे ही डिब्बी में बंद कर दिया…जैसी डिबिया हम आज इस्तेमाल करते हैं… जिसके बगल में एक खुरदुरी सी परत होती है… जिस पर रगड़ कर तीली में आग लगाई जाती है।

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