INVENTIONS: No Three on a Match?

As an "ignition source"—to use the pompous term of match makers—nothing can approach the paper book match for ubiquity. Some 25 billion books, representing 500 billion lights, are distributed each year, almost always without charge to the user (through the stores, hotels and vending machine operators that buy them in bulk). Match manufacturers also make money selling advertising on the book covers. This industry has been built with no essential change in the product itself since 1911, when safer chemicals replaced the poisonous white phosphorus that had been used in the book...

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