Saturday, 26 March 2011


Historically, the term match referred to lengths of cord (later, cambric) impregnated with chemicals, and allowed to burn continuously.[1] These were used to light fires and fire guns (see Matchlock) and cannons (see Linstock). Such matches were characterised by their burning speed i.e. quick match and slow match. Depending on formulation, slow match burns at a rate of around 30 cm (1 ft) per hour and quick match at 4 to 60 centimetres (1.6 to 24 in) per minute.

The modern equivalent of this sort of match is the simple fuse, still used in pyrotechnics to obtain a controlled time delay before ignition. The original meaning of the word still persists in some pyrotechnics terms, such as black match (a black powder–impregnated fuse) and Bengal match (a firework producing a relatively long-burning, coloured flame). But, when friction matches were developed, they became the main object meant by the term.

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