The Animations on this Page are to the best of my knowledge are Royalty Free.

These are not the only animations of Fire however & more Single Titles Animations can be accessed from the table at the bottom of the page.

NOTE: FIRE has been split into 5 pages because of the great N° of animations. You’ll find the links to the other pages & other animations in this series in the table near the bottom of the page. On page 5 – Explosions & Bombs you’ll find the links to the Big & XL animations.


Match-Lighter History.


The quest for ways to ignite a fire began back in the Stone Age, when the caveman discovered that he could start a fire by rubbing two sticks together and ended with the successful invention of the non-toxic matches we use today.


In 1669, an alchemist, one who mistakenly believes that he can change base metals into gold, mixed up a batch of something which was, surprisingly, not gold but a substance he named phosphorous. Since his recipe did not produce the gold he desired, he tossed it onto the heap of history.

In 1680, an Irish physicist named Robert Boyle, after whom Boyle’s Law was named. He cleverly coated a piece of paper with phosphorous and armed with a splinter of sulphur-coated wood, bravely bulled the wood through the paper, which burst into flames. However, there was no useable match created by Robert Boyle.

Much later, in 1826, John Walker, English chemist and apothecary, stumbled upon a chemical concoction that produced fire. After stirring together a mixture of chemicals, which did not contain phosphorous, John removed the stick he used, only to find a dried lump at its end. When he scraped the stick against the floor to rid it of the lump, the stick ignited. This discovery meant that he could start a fire by striking the stick anywhere. These were the first friction matches. His mixture of antimony sulphide, potassium chlorate, gum and starch could produce fire. Walker did not patent his “Congreves” as he called the matches (alluding to the Congreve’s rocket invented in 1808). Walker was a former chemist at 59 High Street, in Stockton-on-Tees, England. His first sale of the matches was on April 7, 1827, to a Mr. Hixon, a solicitor in the town. Walker made little money from his invention. He died in 1859 at the age of 78 and is buried in the Norton Parish Churchyard in Stockton.

A person at one of Walker’s demonstrations, Samuel Jones, spotted the oversight; saw a golden opportunity and patented the invention under his name. Jones produced matches he named Lucifers, which produced extraordinary sales. The widespread availability of the matches actually led to a significant increase in smoking. Even though there was tobacco and rollie papers at the time; the pipe in those days was more popular.


But there was a dark side to Lucifers; i.e. their ungodly odour, the fireworks display they gave when ignited. In actual fact, Lucifers carried a warning label stating that they, not the cigarettes they lit, were dangerous to one’s health!

In the 1830’s, Charles Sauria, a French chemist, decided to improve upon the existing formula by adding white phosphorous to do away with the stench of the matches. What Mr. Sauria did not know, was that white phosphorous was lethal to those who came into contact with it.

Unknowingly, he created a deadly monster by adding the white phosphorous. The phosphorous was responsible for a nearly epidemic disease known as “Phossy Jaw,” match factory workers developed poisoned bones and children who sucked on the matches developed infant skeletal deformities. Even the amount of white phosphorous contained in one pack of matches could kill a person and actually did, through numerous suicides and murders.

Finally, by 1910, the general public’s awareness of the dangers of the white phosphorous in these matches led to a worldwide campaign to ban them. Thankfully, Diamond Match Company obtained an United States patent for the first non-poisonous match, which used the harmless chemical sesquisulfide of phosphorous in place of the deadly white phosphorous.

So significant was Diamond Match Company’s discovery to public health, that United States President Taft made a public plea to the Company voluntarily to surrender their patent rights to the invention. Despite the enormous moneymaking potential of the patent, Diamond Match Company granted President Taft’s request on January 28, 1911. Congress followed suit by passing a law that raised the tax on white phosphorous matches to a level so high that their production soon ceased.

An examination of the match would be incomplete without mention of the matchbook. John Pusey, in 1892, invented something he named the matchbook. He had the right idea but had it backwards, as he placed the striking surface for the match on the inside of the book of 50 matches, so when one match was struck, the remaining 49 also ignited!

Once again, Diamond Match Company intervened and saved the day, by purchasing the patent to the matchbook, by moving the striking surface to the outside of the cover where it belonged and by marketing the revamped match as the “Safety Match.”


At the turn of the 21st century approximately 500 billion matches were used each year and about 200 billion of these come from matchbooks.

Zippo Manufacturing was founded in late 1932 by George G. Blaisdell who developed the Zippo cigarette lighter. Now lighters come in all shapes, sizes and colours and in western counties have just about done away with the match.



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