When Were Matches Invented?


Quick Answer

Matches were invented in 1805 by a French chemist called Jean Chancel in Paris. Jean was an assistant to Professor Louis Jacques Thenard. There were different experiments before Chancel's invention, but he was the one credited with the deed.

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Full Answer

This first match did not resemble modern matches. Chancel used rubber, sugar, sulfur and potassium chlorate to coat a wooden stick. The stick was then dipped in a small bottle filled with sulfuric acid, resulting in fire.

This invention was accompanied by a series of other experiments, including the invention of the Dobereiner Lamp in 1823 by a German chemist called Johan Wolfgang. The lamp used a chemical reaction between sulfuric acid and zinc to create a flammable hydrogen gas. This invention was remarkable, and it kindled other inventors to experiment more to create a self-igniting source of fire.

It wasn't until 1826 when an English druggist and chemist John Walker managed to invent the first friction match. After this invention, many other inventors added their ideas, which led to the creation of the matches using white phosphorous by a Frenchman called Charles Sauria. White phosphorous was later banned for public usage because it contained toxic substances. Modern matches were created by the Swedish chemist called Gustaf Erik Pasch.

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