This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
Mr. Edward Prince, splint manufacturer, of Horseshoe Bay, Buckingham township, is authority for the statement that there are about twenty-two match factories in the United States and Canada, and that the daily production--and consequent daily consumption--is about twenty-five thousand gross per day. It may seem a queer statement to make that one hundred thousand hours of each successive day are spent by the people of the two countries in striking a light, but such is undoubtedly the case. In each gross of matches manufactured there are 144 boxes, so that the 25,000 gross produces 3,600,000 boxes. Each box, at least those made in the States, where a duty of one cent upon every box of matches is levied--contains 100 matches, so that the number of matches produced and used daily amounts to 360,000,000. Counting that it takes a second to light each match--and it is questionable whether it can be done in less time than that, while some men occupy several minutes sometimes in trying to strike a light, particularly when boozy--to light the 360,000,000 would take just that number of seconds. This gives 6,000,000 minutes, or 100,000 hours. In days of twenty-four hours each it figures up to 4,166 2-3, and gives eleven years and five months with a couple of days extra, as the time occupied during every twenty-four hours, by the people of North America--not figuring on the Mexicans--in striking matches. Figuring a little further it gives 4,159 years time in each year. The fact may seem amazing, but it is undoubtedly quite correct.--Ottawa Free Press.
A catalogue, containing brief notices of many important scientific papers heretofore published in the SUPPLEMENT, may be had gratis at this office.