Life before Matches
Early human communities learned to make fire by rubbing sticks together — but it was hard work. Another method was to focus the sun’s rays on a flammable material by use of a lens, or “burning glass.” But if there was no sun — or no lens — then there was no fire. Tinderboxes made life a little easier. Containing flint (a type of hard mineral), steel, and tinder (flammable material such as cloth or straw), the tinderbox was portable and generally effective. But it was still a far cry from the convenience of today’s matches.