WHY are matches called Swedish?

Since the 1830s, matches were produced in France and Germany with heads containing white phosphorus. The substance is extremely poisonous and chemically highly reactive, so that matches could be ignited by friction right in the box.

Professor Gustaf Erik Pasch of Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggested in 1844 to take the phosphorus out of the heads and to put it on a special grater on the box.

And besides, he replaced white phosphorus with red, less harmful one.

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