The first invention which developed into Bryant and May's
“safety matches.” They were originally made in 1805 by Chancel, a
French chemist, who tipped cedar splints with paste of chlorate of
potash and sugar. On dipping one of these matches into a little bottle
containing asbestos wetted with sulphuric acid, it burst into flame on
drawing it out. It was not introduced into England till after the
battle of Waterloo. (See Hugh Perry.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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