Monday, August 19, 2013

Tidaholm Memories Because It is Monday

Really, Monday again!  I sometimes wonder why I can't just skip Monday and begin the week with Tuesday? Of course I should be just glad and count my many blessings that Monday is here for me at all.  The task of getting all parts moving in sync with my brain is a little "touch and go", but here I am.  To cheer myself up, I began to think back to a wonderful day Mr. Dude and I had with my cousin and her husband in Tidaholm, Sweden, where they live.

Tidaholm is a beautiful little town which has a very rich history, privately owned in the middle ages, but the history of Tidaholm might come later. My cousin asked me if we would like to walk to the Match factory which was part of this small town's industrial revolution.What a fascinating afternoon we had ! So much to learn.

In 1868 the Vulcan Match Co.. was founded in Tidaholm and is today owned by the Swedish Match Co.In the 1830s the first phosphorus matches were created .It was Prof. Erik Pasch, in 1844 who received the patent for his invention of the Safety Match. England, France, Germany and the US were all on the quest for safe match production, up to now this was done with manual labor and very dangerous. Dr. Pasch  was able to replace the poisonous yellow Phosphorus with non-poisonous red phosphorus, and then also applied the chemical to the outside of the box thus the first striking match. This made Sweden world famous!

In 1845 a young engineer invented and designed the first automated match making machine. These matches were produced in Jönköping,  Sweden, (another one of my favorite towns) and sold all over the world.

These are some of the labels that were exported to other parts of the world.

During this same time, in the United States the
Diamond Match Co was establishing their dominance in the manufacture of the safety match.
They were buying up as many small match companies as they could find . In Sweden this was also taking place. The owner of Vulcan saw Diamond as a threat and began to buy up their stock.
The man behind the Swedish Match Empire was, Ivar Kreuger who planned to control the world's match mfg. In 1932 Kreuger's company did control 60% of the world's match production, and that included a good
portion of Diamond Match's stock.  When Kreuger died Diamond was able to re-purchase the stock that was held by the Swedish Match Co..  Today Both companies are equal forces in the production of matches, and both companies have diversified in many ways. In 1961 The cricket disposable lighter was introduced to the world by Sweden Match. They are also in a leadership position for chewing tobacco and cigars. Their main markets for Red Man and Garcia Y Vega is the United States.

I think we all remember the blue box of Diamond, but today that box had. changed a little. Today both companies are highly aware of the ecological and environmental affects of all dangerous chemicals, this included the boxes which are now produced from recycled products. The Swedish Match Co. does not manufacture in Jonkoping any more, that ceased in 1971 and is now their museum, but manufacturing still continues in Tidaholm  and Vetlanda.

It was a lovely and informative day and we returned home for that special conversation time over A cup of the good :stuff" and something tasty.  The sweetest of memories!
Diamond Safety Match co 1881---present


  1. I've never thought about the origins of the match. Thanks for sharing your visit with us. I find it very interesting.

    1. Frankly I had never given much thought to it either. We always made sure to have our matches ready when camping and still have a blue box of Diamond's somewhere. That afternoon was fascinating and we both learned so much about the evolution and growth of that small thing that we all needed and how we have advanced in the care of our planet.