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Matches

Burning or Oxidation:
The burning material is ordinarily set on fire by matches, thin strips of wood tipped with sulphur or phosphorus, or both. Phosphorus can unite with oxygen at a fairly low temperature, and if phosphorus is rubbed against a rough surface, the friction produced will raise the temperature of the phosphorus to a point where it can combine with oxygen. The burning phosphorus kindles the wood of the match, and from the burning match the fire is kindled. If you want to convince yourself that friction produces heat, rub a cent vigorously against your coat and note that the cent becomes warm. Matches have been in use less than a hundred years. Primitive man kindled his camp fire by rubbing pieces of dry wood together until they took fire, and this method is said to be used among some isolated distant tribes at the present time. A later and easier way was to strike flint and steel together and to catch the spark thus produced on tinder or dry fungus. Within the memory of some persons now living, the tinder box was a valuable asset to the home, particularly in the pioneer regions of the West.


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