A report on Phosphorus and Albright and Wilson

White phosphorus exposed to air glows in the dark
The tetrahedral structure of P4O10 and P4S10.
A stable diphosphene, a derivative of phosphorus(I).
Robert Boyle
Guano mining in the Central Chincha Islands, ca. 1860.
Mining of phosphate rock in Nauru
Match striking surface made of a mixture of red phosphorus, glue and ground glass. The glass powder is used to increase the friction.
Phosphorus explosion

Albright and Wilson was founded in 1856 as a United Kingdom manufacturer of potassium chlorate and white phosphorus for the match industry.

- Albright and Wilson

Albright and Wilson in the UK and their Niagara Falls plant, for instance, were using phosphate rock in the 1890s and 1900s from Tennessee, Florida, and the Îles du Connétable (guano island sources of phosphate); by 1950, they were using phosphate rock mainly from Tennessee and North Africa.

- Phosphorus
White phosphorus exposed to air glows in the dark

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An igniting match


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Tool for starting a fire.

Tool for starting a fire.

An igniting match
The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone (1771), by Joseph Wright, depicting Hennig Brand discovering phosphorus.
Sulfur-head matches, 1828, lit by dipping into a bottle of phosphorus
A tin "Congreves" matchbox (1827), produced by John Walker, inventor of the friction match.
Packing girls at the Bryant & May factory.
The London matchgirls strike of 1888 campaigned against the use of white phosphorus in match making, which led to bone disorders such as phossy jaw.
The New York Times report dated 29 January 1911
Jönköpings safety match industry 1872.
Old match factory in Itkonniemi, Kuopio, Finland
Super Deportistas matches from mid 20th century Mexico, part of the permanent collection of the Museo del Objeto del Objeto, in Mexico City.
A match at the beginning of the combustion process
Ignition of a match
Matches with an intellectual pastime printed
Household safety matches
Special storm matches

Lucifers were quickly replaced after 1830 by matches made according to the process devised by Frenchman Charles Sauria, who substituted white phosphorus for the antimony sulfide.

British company Albright and Wilson was the first company to produce phosphorus sesquisulfide matches commercially.