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John Walker Tribute



Obviously, I'm rapidly becoming a fan of Thomas Pavitte. Here is his tribute to the inventor of the matchstick, John Walker. Over a series of months, Pavitte created this typographical sculpture using 10,000 friction matches. I had no idea, but Walker invented the matchstick by accident--a fact that fascinated Pavitte.
While Walker was preparing a lighting mixture on one occasion, a match which had been dipped in it took fire by an accidental friction upon the hearth. He at once appreciated the practical value of the discovery, and started making friction matches. They consisted of wooden splints or sticks of cardboard coated with sulphur and tipped with a mixture of sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum, the sulphur serving to communicate the flame to the wood.

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