Since the beginning of time people in different countries, on different continents yielded the fire. The fire was not only the way of preparing food and getting warm and light, it was the part of ancient primitive technological processes like the baking of clay (ceramics), the fusion of metals, making of the glass.
The meaning of the fire was extremely important and the ways of making the fire were the integral part of the culture and everyday life. The secrets and methods of yielding the fire were being preserved carefully. The instruments for making the fire were of great value. Quite often people ascribed the fire mysterious properties, the fire was the part of rituals, devotions and traditional ceremonies.
What were the methods of making the fire?
At first, it was being found, then being taken to the house and being “domesticated”. The cause of “natural” fire was usually the conflagration and thunderbolts. Such a fire was being carefully preserved and guarded, because it could not go out. Sometimes it burnt for years and was being moved from place to place. Archeologists can identify the places of primeval people sites with the help of big fires.
Little by little people learned about yielding the fire. Making the fire by friction between the woods made people more independent and mobile. In different variants this way existed everywhere. This method changed a lot, but it was the prototype of the phosphoric matches and safe “Swedish” matches. Other method of making the fire were well-known in Europe for the last thirteen-fourteen centuries (from the seventh century AC). The tinder, the flint and the steel striker were the very popular instruments among European people.
Nowadays archeologists find steel strikers of many different shapes. Scientists try to systematize these steel strikers and to make special maps. It is curious, that people used the method of making the fire with the help of the tinder, the flint and the steel striker in the time of Great Patriotic War and long years after it, when matches were hard-to-find items in the village. The native population of the Kola peninsula (Sami people, hunters and breeders) use the steel striker, the flint and the dry reindeer moss to make the fire. They don’t take matches with them, because they don’t have enough for every day.
Making the fire with the steel striker became the prototype of firelocks and flint-guns and the method itself became the base of the configuration of the common lighter.
The new methods of making the fire appeared because of the development of chemistry and physics. There were matches lighted by sulphuric acid and matches with the glass tips, which were necessary to crush with the special tongs to make the fire. But all of this methods didn’t become popular because of low utility.
Our site is specially dedicated to the making fire with the tinder, the steel striker and the flint. We are carried away with the reconstruction and the renaissance of this method of lighting the fire, so we are interested not only in the utilitarian side of the process, but in its aesthetic and artistic value. The steel striker as all forged handicraft (let it be a knife, a sword or just a key to the antique clock) has a particle of the craftsman in it and could be called the work of art. And thus striking the spark or making the fire out of punky tinder are indeed a mastery.