The invention of match was, in common with most others, one born out of necessity. There had for centuries been a need for a portable means of creating fire, quickly and easily. The commercial exploitation was during the first half of the nineteenth century.

1824 - Henry Berry invented ‘Instantaneous  Light Box’, which consisted of a stick, akin to a match stick, with a head composed of chlorate of potash, gum and sugar that had to be dipped into a bottle of vitriol and, when quickly withdrawn, would burst into flame.

1826 – The actual invention of the match is generally attributed to a chemist  name John Walker, He had been experimenting with explosives, were in search of an easy way of making fire.

1828 - Samuel Jones’s invented ‘Promethean match’

1833 - Soon after its invention, the match saw the first of its improvements

1910 – It is estimated that the origin of the safety match industry in India

1905 – to 1915 - Initially India was importing matches from Sweden and Japan. During world War, when Swedish matches could not be imported, the Indian market was fed mainly by imported matches from Japan

1917 - locally made followed by the Japanese pattern introduced in Calcutta.

1921 - After the war, factories in Calcutta were unable to import material and had production problem in handmade match.

1922 - Production shifted to southern India, where a combination of the dry climate, cheap labour and availability of raw materials from nearby Kerala created ideal conditions for match production.

1923 - The first sulphur match that would bum when brought into contact with a rough surface was produced in South India.

1924 - Mechanization came to the Indian match industry in  when Wimco, Ltd. (Wimco), started operations in 1924 as a unit of the multinational Swedish Match Company.

1932 - The first safety match was produced in India, in the form we know today.

In last three decades, the Indian match industry grew rapidly. Government policies protected Indian matches by placing protective tariffs on imported products and specifically favored the expansion of the handmade, small-scale sector through the use of differential excise taxes. There are now 12,000 units in the small-scale, non-mechanized sector, of which 75% to 90% are situated in Southern India.

International Matchbox industry turn down since beginning different lables and barands came in the market but aroud 1930 this practice started to decline and most of these brands started disappearing. The stock market crash in 1929 was one of the contributing factors to the reduction in the number of brands. At the time of the Wall Street Crash and then emergence of another portable fire-making device: the cigarette lighter. This was down turn for International Match Industry but for Indian Match Industry this was a successful Start, because of cost effactive and mass production.

Emergence of cigarette lighter The first lighters appeared in the late 1800’s, they were fuelled by gasoline or methanol and lit automatically at the push of a button, but these were not portable, nor reliable and were not a severe threat to the match industry at the time. It was in 1932 that the first real alternative to the match emerged when the ‘Zippo’ was launched as a gasoline, wick and flint-wheel, pocket lighter became extremely popular.

For the first time in its history, the match industry faced external competition and as a result, This was the time when Indian macth indusrty boom took real start.  Brand rationalisation was recognised as a means of achieving production cost efficiency.

 
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