It may be a coincidence but this is the inside of a Christmas card that I received today.
The lady in front of the shop is Doris Perley. Doris chairs the Yarm Writers’ Group of which I am a member. You may see more of Doris in later weeks, but today it’s the shop shown in the photo that provides this Sepia Saturday topic.
The shop John Walker Chemist & Druggist was established by John Walker in Stockton-on-Tees in 1819.
Walker invented the friction match using a mixture of potassium chlorate and antimony sulphide. He sold his first friction matches in April 1827. The matches were made of cardboard but he soon switched to wooden splints. Walker never patented his matches despite being advised to do so by Michael Faraday. It was a Samuel Jones of London who copied his idea and marketed his “Lucifers” in 1829.
Doris is standing in front of the shop in the Victorian street of the Preston Hall Museum at Eaglescliffe. The ‘new’ shop was opened earlier this year to mark John Walker’s discovery of a process which changed history.
More Sepia Saturday here