Science: Amphibious Match

Science has at last produced a waterproof match which lights when wet. For a year and a half, it has been a military secret. Last week military censors let the light shine forth.

Most modern friction matches are made of sesquisulfide of phosphorus, which resists high humidity but goes to pieces in water. When U.S. troops went to the soaking Pacific tropics, the Quartermaster General appealed to manufacturers to produce a match that would survive amphibious landings and tropical rains.

Chemist Raymond Davis Cady, of Diamond Match Co., finally found the answer. It looks like an ordinary kitchen match, but it is coated...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!