Was the Devil in Peden’s Store? When Matches First Came to Carleton Place



The first match was created in 1805 by Jean Chancel in Paris. This crude match looked nothing like the modern “striking” matches we use today. Instead of using phosphorus, Chancel elected to coat wooden stick with potassium chlorate, sulfur, sugar, rubber, and then dip that stick into the small asbestos bottle filled with sulfuric acid. The connection between acid and the mixture on the stick would start the fire and release very nasty fumes into the face of the user.

However, the “Strike Anywhere Match”, wasn’t really invented until the late 1800s. This is essentially the same match in use today in the boxes of wooden matches with two-colored heads (separation of chemicals).


Photo–Peden seltzer bottle from the Almonte Antique Market
A.R.G. Peden (1849 – 1935) served as police magistrate and town clerk, but also put his name to his family’s line of carbonated beverages. The family store was located…

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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