According to historical records, it is believed that the earliest matchstick was invented in AD 577. At that time, it was during the Southern and Northern Dynasties. There were wars everywhere, and the Northern Qi was attacked by enemies. There was a shortage of materials, especially the lack of fire, and cooking was a problem.
At that time, the queen concubine and some palace maids dipped sulphur on small wooden sticks, and with the help of fire or fire knife and flint, they could easily turn "yin fire" into "yang fire". This can be considered the most primitive matchstick in current records.
In the Southern Song Dynasty, there were hawkers selling matches all over the streets of Hangzhou. Tao Zongyi's "Drop Farming Record" contains: "Hangzhou people cut pine wood into small pieces, which are as thin as paper, and the top of the wood chips is coated with sulfur.
In Europe, match sticks appeared in ancient Rome. At that time, some hawkers sold firewood soaked in sulfur. The wood, which is soaked in sulfur, does not start a fire itself, but can be used to start a fire.
People hit flint with iron and let the sparks fall on the firewood to get fire. In the Middle Ages, Europeans replaced firewood with reeds as a material for starting fires.
The earliest matchsticks in Europe were also made of sulphur, and many researchers believe the invention was likely brought back directly from China by European tourists.
During the Marco Polo period, China's early match technology was introduced to Europe, and later Europeans continued to improve the match that was once called "foreign fire" by the Chinese on this basis.
A match is a kind of fire tool that can ignite by friction, using the chemical activity of strong oxidants and reducing agents according to the principle of frictional heat generation of objects.
In the second half of the eighteenth century, matchsticks mainly used yellow phosphorus as a igniter. Due to the toxicity of yellow phosphorus, it was gradually replaced by phosphorus sulfide matches. Although the latter is non-toxic, it has the possibility of spontaneous combustion at any time and is very unsafe.
In 1855, the world's match factory established in Sweden successfully developed safety matches, which were gradually adopted by countries around the world.
The side of today's matchbox is coated with red phosphorus (flammable agent), antimony trisulfide (Sb2S3, flammable) and glass powder; the substances on the match head are generally KClO3, MnO2 (oxidant) and S (flammable), etc.
When the two sides are rubbed, the heat generated by the friction makes the red phosphorus in contact with KClO3 ignite and causes the combustibles on the head of the match to burn, thereby making the match stick catch fire.
The advantage of safety matches is that red phosphorus is not toxic, and it and the oxidant adhere to the side of the matchbox and the matchstick respectively, and they do not touch when not in use, so they are called safety matches.
The design of the matchbox was once a smash hit, because it circulated in the market in large quantities and became a favorite of advertisers.Therefore, the market for custom match boxes is also growing.
The appearance of matches greatly enriched people's lives, allowing them to make fire freely. Although match sticks have been basically replaced by lighters and other lighters nowadays, in the hearts of many people, sliding a match to ignite can still open the door of their memory.
If we don't pay attention and redesign, maybe this memory will be displayed in the museum soon.