Matches for decades been one of the most important elements of human life, and today play an important role in our daily use. Normally, striking matches on the box, we even do not think about what chemical reactions occur in the second and much ingenuity and effort put people to have a convenient means of making fire. Ordinary matches, no doubt, are among the most amazing inventions of the human mind. To see this, it suffices to recall how much effort required dilution fire in the old days. However, the tedious method of removing the fire by rubbing our ancestors abandoned in antiquity. In the Middle Ages there was for this purpose a more convenient tool - steel, and with him a rousing fire demanded a certain skill and effort. Upon impact of steel on flint carving a spark that fell on the tinder saturated with nitrate. Truth began to smolder. Affixed to a piece of paper, shavings or any other kindling, fanning the fire. Fanning the spark was the most unpleasant thing in this lesson. But can we do without him? Someone came up with a dry splinter dipped into the molten sulfur. As a result, a tip formed sulfuric torch head. When the head pinned to the smoldering tinder, she flashed. From it light up the whole splinter. Thus it appeared the first match.
I must say that throughout his previous history, people have tried to get the fire with the help of mechanical impact - friction or shock. With this approach, sulfuric match could only play a supporting role as directly make fire with it was impossible, because it is not light either from shock or from the friction. But in the late XVIII century, the famous chemist Berthollet proved that the flame can be the result of a chemical reaction. In particular, if the drop of sulfuric acid to the potassium hypochlorite (chlorate salt) there flame. This discovery allowed to approach the problem of making fire completely with the other hand. Different countries have begun to establish a long-term survey of matches to the end, plastered in some chemical substance that can ignite under certain conditions.
In 1812, he invented the first self-igniting Shapsel matches, still very imperfect, but with their help you can get the flame is much faster than using flint. Matches Shapselya were wooden sticks with the head of a mixture of sulfur, potassium chlorate and cinnabar (the latter served for painting incendiary mass in a beautiful red color). In sunny weather, this match is ignited using lenticular lenses, and in other cases - in contact with a drop of concentrated sulfuric acid. These matches were very expensive and, moreover, dangerous as sulfuric acid sprayed in the ignition head and could cause burns. It is clear that they are not widespread. More practical would become a match head, light up when light friction. However, sulfur was not suitable for this purpose. Search for other flammable and immediately noticed the white phosphorus, opened in 1669 by the German alchemist Brandt. Phosphorus is much more flammable than sulfur, but not all at once turned to him. At first match lit with difficulty, since phosphorus is burnt out too fast and did not have time to ignite the kindling. Then it began to be applied on top of the head of the old sulfuric matches, suggesting that the sulfur will illuminate phosphorus than wood. But these, too, lit a match badly. It went smoothly only after they became mixed into the phosphorus substances capable when heated to allocate the necessary oxygen to ignite.
It is now difficult to say who first came up with a good recipe for mass incendiary phosphorous matches. Apparently, it was the Austrian Irini. In 1833, he suggested the entrepreneur Roemer following method for manufacturing matches: "We need to take some hot glue, gum arabic is best to throw it a piece of phosphorus and strongly shake the bottle with glue. The hot glue with strong agitation phosphorus is broken into small particles. They are so closely stick to the glue that formed a thick whitish fluid. Next to this mixture should be added finely mashed powder peroxide lead. All this is mixed until until a monotonous brown mass. Pre-need to prepare serniki, splinter that is, the ends of which are covered with gray. On top of sulfur should be covered with a layer of phosphoric mass. For this serniki dipped in the prepared mixture. It now remains to dry them. Thus obtained matches. They ignite very easily. They need only to strike the wall. " This description is given the opportunity to open a match factory Roemer. It is, however, understood that to wear the matches in his pocket and strike sharply of the wall uncomfortable and came to pack them in a box on one side of which is pasted rough paper (prepared her just - dipped in glue and sprinkled on it sand or ground glass). When a scratching on a piece of paper (or on any rough surface) match ignited. Having established the beginning of the trial matches for the release, Roemer then expanded production forty times - so great was the demand for his product, and earned release matches a lot of money. His example was followed by other manufacturers, and soon in all countries of phosphorus matches and moves made cheap goods.
Gradually several different mass incendiary compositions have been developed. Already from the description Irini seen that phosphoric head matches included several components, each of which served its purpose. First of all, there was phosphorus, who played the role of an igniter. To him mixed into substances that emit oxygen. In addition to potassium chlorate quite dangerous in this role can use peroxide or manganese ocher, and matches more expensive - peroxide of lead, which generally is the most suitable material. Under the phosphorus layer placed less flammable substances that transmit the flame from the igniter wood kindling. It could be sulfur, tallow or wax. To the reaction was not too fast and the tree has had time to warm up the combustion temperature is added a neutral substance, such as glass powder or pumice. Finally, in the mass of mixed into the adhesive, to connect together all the other components. When rubbing the head on a rough surface at the point of contact occurred sufficient heat to ignite the next phosphor particles from which ignited and others. The mass is heated so that the body containing oxygen to decompose. It produces oxygen helped ignite legkozagorayuschegosya substance, which was under the head (sulfur, wax, etc.). From fire it passed the tree.
Match production from the outset adopted a large scale, since the annual consumption of matches counted in tens and hundreds of billions of pieces. Without comprehensive mechanization there was not enough. Fabrication of matches divided into two main steps: 1) production of rods (spichnoy straw), 2) preparing incendiary mass and dipping into her straw. The most common species of tree for matches was aspen and poplar, willow, pine, spruce, timber which had a strong direct fiber. The dried logs were cut into pieces of length of about 1 m. Every piece of splitting cross for four parts and shot him bark. The resulting block was mounted on Workbench and planed with a special planer, working part of which consisted of several tubes, tapered front. When passing along such a plane tree obtained long round or rectangular rods (depending on the shape of straw tubes could make any cross-section). Then a plane conventional smoothed irregularities formed in the form of grooves laid out splinters, the second layer is removed again aligned wood and so on. The resulting splinter cut into pieces having a length of a match. This operation was performed on the machine, which had a very simple device.
Splinter fit into the trough A and move close to the regulatory plate P, and the lever then use the knife m and B cut a predetermined length.
Instead of hand-planing soon became used a special machine. Wood is depended on an end to the frame and processed by means of a cutting device, in which there were several sharpened tubes, cut the splinter while moving the cutting device. In order to undergo the processing in this machine, the log is first cut into boards. This machine, however, had many shortcomings and gave a big waste. Therefore, in the future it was replaced by the other, and the cutting splinters process was broken down into several steps.
For further processing of the straw had to be laid flat and parallel rows. For this purpose, a special machine is also consumed. On the platform, which has received fast sotryasatelnye movement, baffled box set, the distance between the partitions in line with the length of the match. With fast motion box straws fit between the partitions in the drawer compartment and debris fall through its bottom opening. Then the box was removed and overturned. Straw remained on the board in parallel rows and in this form was sent in makalnyh.
Before dipping sticks were placed in a special frame, consisting of a base and two fixed thereto by iron bars, which were put on the wooden plank. Across the plates were grooves parallel to each other. The length of these grooves was made such that in their laid straw performed approximately a quarter of its length. Filled plates worn on the rods, one above the other. On top of all of them were covered board and clamping wedges. Thus it turns out frame, which was placed about 2500 matches. Subsequently, this operation was mechanized and performed special typesetting machine.
Every match was a double-dipping - first in sulfur or paraffin, and then in a fiery mass. Making incendiary mass was difficult, require more precautions. Of particular importance was its thorough mixing. To do this, each component of the heavily milled to a powder. Initially, dipping matches took place manually using makalnyh pan.
Makalnyh pan consisted of two parts: a flat and deep. The first was made somewhat more inlaid frame and actually served for dipping into the molten mass. Layer her here it was low and corresponded to the sky waxed (or sernenoy) of the match. The second part served as a reservoir for the masses and helped to maintain a constant level.
Later, the car was invented makalnyh. It consisted of cast-iron reservoir, surrounded by other iron tank. In the external tank was a fiery mass. Between the two tanks poured warm water to warm the masses. The inner tank is closed on all sides, and only the top board has a transverse slot into which a roller. Spinning, Roller captured his lower half of the weight of the tank and apply it to the ends of matches. For greater convenience over the top of the tank had a special board makalnyh stove, which was set composing the frame and which can be easily moved over the roller makalnyh using racks and pinions, mounted on the roll axis. Over makalnyh roller placed another, who served for a uniform pressing passing beneath typesetting frames to the lower roller. From makalnyh machine dials the frame transferred to the drying chamber. After drying, the matches were removed from the DIN rail frames and stacked in boxes. For a long time, the work was done manually, but then there were machines for this operation.
The big disadvantage of phosphorus matches was the toxicity of phosphorus. A match factory workers quickly (sometimes several months) poisoned by phosphorous vapors and made unable to work. The harmfulness of this production even surpassed the mirror and hat. In addition, the incendiary mass in water gave the strongest poison that was used by suicide (and often a killer). In 1847, Schroeter opened nonpoisonous amorphous red phosphorus. Since that time, there was a desire to replace the dangerous white phosphorus. Earlier this other problem was resolved the famous German chemist Boettcher. He has prepared a mixture of sulfur and potassium chlorate, mix them with glue and put it on the splinter covered with paraffin. But, alas, this was not possible to light a match on a rough surface. Then Boettcher came up with a special piece of paper to grease formulation containing a quantity of red phosphorus. When rubbing matches on this surface of red phosphorus particles are ignited by touching them head potassium chlorate particles and ignited the latest. New match burned even yellow flame. They did not give any smoke, nor odor, which is accompanied by phosphorus matches. The invention Boettcher initially not interested manufacturers. The first "safety matches" began to produce in 1851 the Swedes Lundstrem brothers. Therefore besfosfornye match long called "Swedish". Once safety matches have proliferated in many countries it was banned production and sale of phosphorus matches. After a few decades of their release completely stopped.