MATCH CAN BE LIGHTED 100 TIMES (Jan, 1933)

Does anyone know how this works or what the match was made of?
Update: A reader sent in this possibility: an “Ignitable Stick” from the Google patent database. Thanks!

MATCH CAN BE LIGHTED 100 TIMES
If you borrow a match from the gentleman pictured at the right, he is likely to want it back! He is one of the users of a new repeating match recently produced in England. The match may be struck and relighted more than a hundred times. A small box, coated with a special composition used as the striking surface, serves as a holder for the repeating match when it is not in use. The device is much thicker than an ordinary parlor match and gives a correspondingly larger flame

14 comments
  1. jayessell says: May 30, 20073:52 am

    It sounds like a liquid fueled cigerette lighter.
    Putting the match back in its case extingueshes it.

  2. Village Idiot says: May 30, 20076:23 am

    jayessell: I think you’re right.

    The first Zippo was produced in 1933, inspired by a similar Austrian invention (according to Wikipedia), so this could very well just be a cylinder w/ wick inside and an outer coating of flint, and was possibly the inspiration for Zippos…

    These article scans are fascinating, keep it up!

  3. vmos says: May 30, 20076:31 am

    a friend of mine once had a device like a small metal matchbox or more like a really tiny hip flask, you unscrewed the match and pulled it out. It was a small metal rod with a bursh head of metal fibres around a smaller metal core. Inside the box was a sponge (or possibly cotton) soaked in lighter fuel like the inside of a zippo). The striking surface was an inlaid black strip along one side, looked like slate but could have been metal. You strike it, sparks ignite the fuel on the matchead and BAM! you have fire. I’ve no idea how long it lasted but it was well worn down by the time I saw it.

  4. vmos says: May 30, 20076:54 am

    a friend of mine once had a device like a small metal matchbox or more like a really tiny hip flask, you unscrewed the match and pulled it out. It was a small metal rod (about the same size as the one in the picture) with a brush head of metal fibres around a smaller metal core. Inside the box was a sponge (or possibly cotton) soaked in lighter fuel like the inside of a zippo). The striking surface was an inlaid black strip along one side, looked like slate but could have been metal. You strike it, sparks ignite the fuel on the matchead and BAM! you have fire. I’ve no idea how long it lasted but it was well worn down by the time I saw it.

  5. drauh says: May 30, 20077:37 am

    don’t know if this is what it was… my dad used to have a “perpetual match”. it was a steel tube about 1/8 in. diameter with a wick inside. the matchbox had a strip of flint on it.

  6. Boing Boing says: May 30, 20078:39 am

    Repeating matches, a lost wonder of 1933…

    In January, 1933, Popular Science reported on a “repeating match” that could be lighted up to 100 times. Like the secrets of the pyramids and the the ancient technique for finding happiness while scrubbing in a field for root vegetables, the details …

  7. [...] Repeating matches, a lost wonder of 1933 In January, 1933, Popular Science reported on a “repeating match” that could be lighted up to 100 times. Like the secrets of the pyramids and the the ancient technique for finding happiness while scrubbing in a field for root vegetables, the details of this technology have been lost to the mists of time. If you borrow a match from the gentleman pictured at the right, he is likely to want it back! He is one of the users of a new repeating match recently produced in England. The match may be struck and relighted more than a hundred times. A small box, coated with a special composition used as the striking surface, serves as a holder for the repeating match when it is not in use. The device is much thicker than an ordinary parlor match and gives a correspondingly larger flame. Link [...]

  8. [...] invento este que se anunció en algunas revistas como Popular Science en 1933: una cerilla que se podía encender hasta cien veces. No está muy claro por qué cayó en el olvido, ni si sería muy útil hoy en día: en muchas [...]

  9. acentillo says: June 1, 20071:05 am

    [...] no les vendría bien este invento a los del concurso supervivientes. [...]

  10. [...] Modern Mechanix blog [...]

  11. NikFromNYC says: January 14, 20083:52 pm

    I owned one of those (still for sale) “lighter fuel” matches. They light about 1 in 10 tries, since it relies on the old “hard metal against flint” to create the spark, except unlike a Bic disposable lighter, this is about as fun to do by hand as making a camp fire by “quickly rubbing two sticks together.”

  12. KJK says: December 5, 20095:17 pm

    I have one, it is a LIONEL BLOOM perpetual match.

    The ‘black’ stuff on this was originally flint, with metal on the match for sparking.

    I am trying to find someone to restore mine to working condition – it was my Dads.

  13. Greg Taggi says: March 2, 201010:06 pm

    Once had a a perpetual match from the 1894 Chicago Exposition. It was engraved with the previous and a huge Ferris Wheel. The cotton inside the 2 inch by 2 inch heavy chrome “lighter” was soaked with lighter fluid. The “match” was a 1 1/2 long steel tube with
    braided cotten running down the center. Threads at the top allowed it to be screwed back into the lighter where it was re wet. On the side of the lighter was an inlaid strip of flint. As long as there was fluid in the body, the match lit every time. You then blew it out and screwed it back in. I got it from an antique shop in Chicage in the 70′s. It was stolen from me in the later 70′s. What an icebreaker. It got me laid more than once.

  14. Rich says: June 16, 201011:32 am

    I rem them when I was in boy scouts in the 60s some guys had them they were called a perpetual match.

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