Monday, November 12, 2007

Stamp of the Day: Safety Matches

As described in the post below by EH, safety matches is truly a Swedish invention that probably revolutionized the world. Just imagine all those gas lamps and steam engines that need to be lit with a little stick with chemicals on top.

Monaco, this reliable little country, has issued a stamp honoring John Edvard Lundström (1815-1888), the inventor of safety matches. He patented safety matches in 1855 and had his factory in Jonkoping, not far from famed Husqvarna.

More on the history of matches here.

Also, I thought I should show the non-Swede's on the blog what Solstickan's matchbox looked like. This is what I grew up with, a design that lasted for at least 50 years on the most sold matches in Sweden. I don't know if you can still buy matchboxes that look like this. I love this design, but I don't know if it is because I am nostalgic or really like the design.

8 comments:

EH said...

Amazing that he´s on a stamp, here in Sweden I doubt anyone know his name.

Safety matches must have been gift for many people. But, they where toxic, and it took until 1980:s I think before they could change the composition so that it no longer contains heavy metals. I have wondered about that, some matches are much tuffer to light than others, especially those with colored heads like blue and green. I have to look into it..

EH said...

OK, I have some new info from the The Swedish Match company; in 1992 they marketed the sulpurfree match. It´s environmental friendly and without harmful heavy metals.

But I wonder, is it better than the old one...? Does it light up just as predicable as the old ones? What do OK say?

1992 presenterade Swedish Match en unik och miljövänlig produkt: den svavelfria tändstickan. Alla skadliga tungmetaller var nu borttagna och tändstickorna tillverkas endast av förnyelsebara råvaror.

PP said...

We bought marches with that design when I was first in Sweden, in the town we had to take a ferry to. I think they are in the house somewhere...

LS said...

I think that was Lysekil, the coastal town. I think those matches are in the china cabinet or in the Sweden box - strange that I forgot that.

AnS said...

I have a lot of elder boxes from Solstickan that I have restored since many years. It is funny to have. I also become a little nostalgic, because I remember that under the war it was so cold in the kitchen in the morning so my mother Karin took the matches and lit the oven. It a gasoven.

LS said...

Isn't that the gas oven that exploded? I remember a story from when you grew up, AnS, about the gas oven exploding in the kitchen but nobody got hurt.

O.K. said...

Yes, I think you have that box of "Gengaständstickor" (Wood gas matches)that I saved on display on the fireplace, right? Now, that is a concept not to be revived very soon, I think.

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