Abe Lincoln

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich...strengthen the weak by weakening the strong...bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift...lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves." -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is it Wednesday - Playing with Matches

The above match holders where very popular to have in the kitchen.  Each time you went to cook something you had to light the stove.  They where hung on a wall near the stove for easy use.   My mom would strike the match then turn on the burner, and light it.  Sometimes it was easy other times not!  If the burner would not light you tapped the burner with the pilot light to get the gas going.  The handy wooden matches where also used to light the wood or coal furnace.  We are talking about a time before the Bic lighters and gas fireplaces.  The big boxes of matches where sold three at a time, if the striker paper got damp the matches would not light.  So you had to keep them in a dry location.  
Now I going to share a story with you about my husband and the wooden matches.  We are going back to the late 50's.  A elderly neighborly lady heated her house with coal.  She could put the coal in and light it, but she had a hard time cleaning the coal ashes out of the furnace.  So my husband being of eight was sent over to clean out the furnace and  carry the ashes outside.  This lady had no money, no cookies or candy to pay him for doing this chore.  So she gave him two wooden matches to play with while walking home.  He would strike the match on the zipper of his jeans and watch the flame burn down, drop the match and watch it burn out.  Each week he would clean out the ashes and get two matches.  Never once did he think to burn something in the alley walking home (just maybe his figures).  If you where to give a kid a match today you would be in so much trouble.  Kids playing with matches is a big No NO!  The simply joy of watching a match burn that you earned is gone.  Let a lone kids cleaning coal ashes.  Do kids even know that you can heat your home with coal?


The Moonlit Stitch said...

Your posts are so enjoyable Rose! I love antiques and stories of old. Thanks for sharing (and bless you for the Christmas poems)~*~Lisa

tipper said...

What a great memory for your husband. Somewhere I have a plastic match holder that was my Granny's-it's made to look like a headboard.