Fire pistons, (or fire syringe, pneumatic syringe, instantaneous light-giving syringe) were ingenious devices created out of wood, horn, bamboo, ivory, bone or metal by the peoples of Southeast Asia. The plunger would force the air in the tube to compress and get very hot, thereby lighting the tinder in the base. In Europe they were usually a "scientific curiosity." The fire piston on left was from Borneo.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Monday, September 23, 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Six 'iron blowers' were in the 1818 inventory of Virginia Gov. Preston taken in the Virginia Governor's Mansion, built in 1811. They were long thin tubes with a mouth piece, which were also called ‘fender blower,’ ‘blower,’ 'iron blow,’ ‘blow tube’ or ‘blow pipe.’ Bellows were also available to start or intensify the kitchen fire.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Boys and women sold matches in cities for a modest fee. They whittled pine or cedar sticks, dipped the pointed end in brimstone or bought the matches from match manufacturers from the "low parts of London." By 1827 an author claimed "the itinerant Matchseller, will, of consequence, become obsolete." Pictures from prints and books of "Cries" from London, New York City and Boston...