Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tinder was a substance used as a means of starting fire before the introduction of phosphorus matches. It was an inflammable material, often composed of half burnt flax, and took fire on receiving the sparks caused by the rapid rubbing of a flint and steel. The ignited tinder could not, however, be used directly as a torch, for it only smouldered - no flame was produced. A match dipped in sulphur was first kindled from it, and, after all these steps, the same point was reached as is now obtained by us after one swift rub of a modern match.