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Five hundred and fifty thousand hours of each successive day are spent by the inhabitants of Europe in striking lucifer matches upon the box and otherwise. There is a Milesian smack about this surprising statement, which, however, is altogether deceptive ; for the calculation it sets forth has been published by our Parisian contemporary, the Figaro, and is based upon the following curious statistics. Europe continental and insular, consumes two millions of matches daily. Assuming that each several act ol ignition occupies the brief period of one second—and we have reason to believe that it is rarely performed in a shorter time —it will be obvious to every ready-reckoner that the above-mentioned amazing number of hours must be diurnally de- j voted to the production of artificial light by fiction in our quarter of the giobc alone. There is food for much quaint speculation in the seemingly anomalous fact that Europeans dispose of nearly sixty-four years per diem in scraping tiny sticks tipped with some inflammamble composition upon sympathetic substances of various descriptions. “ Fiat lux ” should surely be the device of an age so profusely addicted to “ striking a light.” It is also interesting to learn that four hundred thousand cubic yards of timber, and four hundred and twenty thousand pounds’ weight of phosphorus are in annual request for the seven hundred and thirty thousand millions of matches used up by Europe in the course of every year.

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Bibliographic details

MATCH STATISTICS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 683, 8 July 1882

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MATCH STATISTICS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 683, 8 July 1882

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