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Matches are NOT a Scottish invention!!

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jimgardner1973
36744.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:43 am Reply with quote

John Walker, inventor of the friction match, was from Stockton on Tees, a town between Hartlepool and Middlesbrough in the north east of England - NOT Scotland, as listed on the show which aired Dec 2nd 2005.

His chemist shop was close to the site of what is now a Boots store, which has been on the high street since I was a lad. The story of John Walker is common knowledge to anyone from round our way who remembers the monument erected in his honor which once stood outside the Swallow hotel.

 
Rory Gilmore
36759.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:23 pm Reply with quote

Unless you count Robert Boyle as the inventor of the match.

 
jimgardner1973
36775.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:51 pm Reply with quote

Stockton is famous for two things. One being the Stockton to Darlington railway, the first passenger line in the world (look on your 5 notes), the second being the home of John Walker, the inventor of the friction match.

It's just a fact!

From http://www.answers.com/topic/match-1

The first friction match was invented by English chemist John Walker in 1827. Early work had been done by Robert Boyle in the 1680s with phosphorus and sulfur, but his efforts had not produced useful results. Walker discovered a mixture of antimony (III) sulfide, potassium chlorate, gum, and starch could be ignited by striking against any rough surface. Walker called the matches congreves, but the process was patented by Samuel Jones and the matches were sold as lucifers. The early matches had a number of problems -- the flame was unsteady and the initial reaction was disconcertingly violent; additionally the odor produced by the burning match was unpleasant. Despite these problems, the new matches were responsible for a marked increase in the number of smokers.

p.s. Vote for Journey South.

p.p.s. Stockton is famous for THREE things (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition). The third is that Stockton high street used to be the widest high street in Europe and is now demoted to the widest in the UK.


Last edited by jimgardner1973 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Rory Gilmore
36781.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:55 pm Reply with quote

And neither Boyle nor Walker were Scottish anyway.

 
Jenny
36782.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:55 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
the new matches were responsible for a marked increase in the number of smokers.


And this man is supposed to be a hero?

 
Rory Gilmore
36786.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:04 pm Reply with quote

How did they smoke before then?

 
jimgardner1973
36787.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:05 pm Reply with quote

Rory Gilmore wrote:
And neither Boyle nor Walker were Scottish anyway.


I think an on-air correction is the least Mr. Fry can do. Sullying the good name of a stout Stocktonion like that - sheesh, the cheek of it!

 
Rory Gilmore
36788.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:07 pm Reply with quote

Especially as the place doesn't have much else going for it really. Some Scottish twenty pound notes have Brodick (where I live) Castle on the back.


Last edited by Rory Gilmore on Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Rory Gilmore
36790.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:08 pm Reply with quote

I'm joking of course. Stockton could well be an altogether quite decent place.

 
jimgardner1973
36792.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Rory Gilmore wrote:
I'm joking of course. Stockton could well be an altogether quite decent place.


Mmmmnope! It's pretty lame, I'm afraid. The police affectionately refer to the town center of a Saturday eve as "Stockton on E's" - as the thud thud thud of the numerous shut up and drink venues hammer their way through the night.

Even the claim to fame of having the first passenger train is somewhat null, as of course it was LEAVING here, not arriving. There's a clue right there.

To be fair, it does have an excellent live music scene - if you know where to look.

 
Rory Gilmore
36797.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:25 pm Reply with quote

Sadly most of us don't.

 
djgordy
36798.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:28 pm Reply with quote

Rory Gilmore wrote:
How did they smoke before then?


Tinderbox.

 
eggshaped
36800.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:31 pm Reply with quote

Jimgardener, I am unable to fault you with your assertion that the friction match was invented in Stockton (even if Boyle did come up with something similar a lot earlier, he was Irish).

However,

Quote:
The third is that Stockton high street used to be the widest high street in Europe and is now demoted to the widest in the UK.


This may or may not be the case, but it is not the only town to claim this:

Tourism South East puts the case forward for Thame:

Quote:
Thame has many beautiful old houses and reputedly the widest High Street in the country.

http://www.oxtowns.co.uk/thame/oakfield/

While the Telegraph, Guardian and Country Life go with the general consesus of the rest of the web (421 hits in my search against Stockton's 196 and 18 for Thame) and plump for Marlborough.

Quote:
Marlborough, which is blessed with the widest high street in England


Quote:
"The reason is that, in the 1600s, all the houses in the middle burned down." ... "So now you can park there."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2005/11/23/pmarket23.xml&sSheet=/property/2005/11/26/ixpmain.html
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/lifecountry/markettownsshortlist.php

 
jimgardner1973
36805.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:50 pm Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Jimgardener, I am unable to fault you with your assertion that the friction match was invented in Stockton (even if Boyle did come up with something similar a lot earlier, he was Irish).

However,

Quote:
The third is that Stockton high street used to be the widest high street in Europe and is now demoted to the widest in the UK.


This may or may not be the case, but it is not the only town to claim this:

Tourism South East puts the case forward for Thame:

Quote:
Thame has many beautiful old houses and reputedly the widest High Street in the country.

http://www.oxtowns.co.uk/thame/oakfield/

While the Telegraph, Guardian and Country Life go with the general consesus of the rest of the web (421 hits in my search against Stockton's 196 and 18 for Thame) and plump for Marlborough.

Quote:
Marlborough, which is blessed with the widest high street in England


Quote:
"The reason is that, in the 1600s, all the houses in the middle burned down." ... "So now you can park there."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2005/11/23/pmarket23.xml&sSheet=/property/2005/11/26/ixpmain.html
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/lifecountry/markettownsshortlist.php



Widest in the UK.

 
eggshaped
36808.  Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:53 pm Reply with quote

Err, I may misunderstand that, but Marlborough and Thame are both in the UK aren't they?

 

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