It is appropriate that as a retailer in Stockton on Tees, we sell matchstick models because the friction match was invented here in Stockton on Tees!
The friction match was invented in 1829 by John Walker who as a young man was apprenticed to the local surgeon. However, he found he had an aversion to surgical operations and turned instead to chemistry. He was interested in finding a way of obtaining fire easily. Although chemical mixtures existed to ignite by a sudden explosion, it had not been possible to transmit the flame to wood. He found the solution by accident and immediately started producing the fiction match. A box of 50 matches in 1829 cost one shilling (equivalent to 5p today.).
Of course the matches used in the matchstick modelling kits do not have the chemical tips to strike.
There is a huge range of models to choose from. There are trains, boats, windmills, steam rollers, gypsy caravans, fire engines, clocks, and many famous buildings such as Big Ben, or the Taj Mahal.
Making these models is a hobby which appeals to many ages. The kits all come with instructions and in some cases, paper formers to work from. Matchstick cutters and glue are required to complete the models, but part from that all you need is time and patience.