Charles Sauria, French chemist

Charles Sauria, French chemist

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Charles Sauria (1812-1895), French chemist, in his laboratory. The boy is holding a match. In 1831, Sauria invented a match that used white phosphorus as the ignition material. Unfortunately, this is a toxic material and people became ill after using the matches. The invention of the safety match in 1855 (which used red phosphorus) made matches much safer, but the use of white phosphorus in matches would not be banned worldwide until 1906.

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