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Steel, strike-a-light


Strike-a-lights and flints were used together as fire lighting tools. The strike-a-lights were usually made of steel and coated with a black grate polish. They were typically designed in a 'B' or 'D' shape to be held in the hand and then struck against a flint.


Flint is a hard form of mineral quartz that comes in different colours, and when struck by steel, creates sparks. These sparks fall onto tinder making it smoulder. The tinder was used to light a "Brimstone" match which, in turn, would light a candle. The whole process could take up to several minutes and was not very practical.


The steel strike-a-lights, flint, tinder and matches were generally all kept in a household tinder box.

(strike-a-light) metal, iron alloy, steel
(strike-a-light various) length min.47mm, max.75mm; (flint) length max.50mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1970.20.1=7, DUMFM:0207.113
Digital Number:
Dumfries & Galloway Council