John Walker

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by saintfrancis
Last updated 7 years ago

Inventors and Inventions

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John Walker

John Walker was a English cemist. He was born in Stockton-on-Tees. He had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Walker was the son of John Walker (they shared the name) and Mary Peacock. Very little was known about his young life but historians claim that he went to a local grammar school. After that he became a apprentice to Watson Alcock, but he found out he couldn't get use to the sight of blood and quit. He then became one of the rare pharmacists in town who used chemical substances which were not often used back then for they where considered to be dangerous. He worked on making matches for a while and at one point observed that paste would explode into flames when struck against a rough surface. It wasn't perfect though sometimes it would get so hot the starting chemical would melt and fall on to the ground, carpet and sometimes even the person who was using it, burning them. Still by 1824 he was selling them in his home town, not because he fixed the problem just because it was the newest and best thing around! Once he made some changes he started selling to neighboring towns. Because it wasn't perfect he never patented it. Sir Isaac Holden independently took over the business that Walker once had clamed and was called the inventor of the matches. It wasn't till John Walkers death that people started giving the title to him.


1 box of matches had about 50 matches.1 box = 1 shillingThey were made of sulphur and sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum (from trees not the gum like you would think of now.)

He spent most of his life working on these friction matches. He was a pharmacist and also a student in a grammar school.

His Legacy

He has started an idea that has sparked a easy, strike-anywhere matches.







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