The truth of that trite old maxim " all that glitters is not gold," is exemplified in reference to new inventions in mechanism and science, aa well as the other phases of life to which it was originally designed to be applied. The Boston Herald, in turning over the pages of of the " Encylopre dia of Commerce," just published, remarks that many of the most important things in commerce are likely to be overlooked in the broad, comprehensive, and magnificent examination usually given to such worb. In the same manner, inventions of the greatest importance for domestic purposes are frequently overlooked and unnoticed in. their homely attire, when placed on exhibition and surrounded by works of polished art, costly machinery, and gorgeous furniture, although of less actual worth and benefit. An humble inventor once placed in such an exhibition a few bunches of friction matches, which were unnoticed by those who passed. Visitors went there looking for some great thing, not realizing that the despised package of splints tipped with chemical fire was the greatest thing in that proud collection, destined to worjr a revolution in the means of procuring artificial light, and to become a universal necessity, to be deprived of which would be ons of the greatest inconvenionces that could happen. It is not more than twenty years since the tinder-box was in universal use; but it' is abolished now, and its place taken by this simple, cheap, and certain method of obtaining.light. The introduction of friction matches spread slowly ; but who now would like to do withont them ? Rafts of timber are annually cut up for this purpose.
This article was originally published with the title "Friction Matches" in Scientific American 13, 50, 396 (August 1858)