Matches have a vintage match strikes charm that fluid-based lighters just can’t replicate, and these stylish match holders and strikers are a fun way to light your next smoke or illuminate a room. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or as a gift for someone else, these unique pieces will add some extra flair to your fireplace mantle or coffee table.
These match strikers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from standard circles, squares, rectangles, and ovals to more whimsical options like cats, hearts, ice cream cones, and woven cane designs. Many are also available in multiple color glazes, allowing you to find a style that matches your aesthetic.
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Historically, matches were made by mixing white phosphorus with potassium chlorate, and then grinding the heads of the splints together against a specially designed surface to ignite the chemical. This approach was deemed unsafe, as it could result in bone disorders such as phossy jaw, leading to the London matchgirls’ 1888 protest against their working conditions and resulting in the name “lucifer.”
Invented by American Joshua Pusey in the late 19th century, modern safety matches separate the reactive chemicals from each other through a special striking surface on the top of a tin case. The result is a more reliable match, which is why these tin match strikers are still in demand today.