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Lucifers

(1833). An improvement on the Congreves and Prometheans. Phosphorus was introduced into the paste; but phosphorus made the matches so sensitive that the whole box often ignited, children were killed by sucking the matches, and at Boulogne two soldiers and a woman were poisoned by drinking coffee in which a child had put a “lucifer.” The manufacture of these matches was also very deleterious, producing “jaw disease.” (See Prometheans, Safety Matches.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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