This is a book that may never have been written. It is about the industry that made matches in Australia and New Zealand, which required a substantial population to sustain it, and a specific type of wood for the match splints. In fact, neither condition ever really existed in either Australia or New Zealand.

Yet these difficulties were overcome, and vibrant, and in the case of Australia, iconic, developed in both countries, stretching intermittently from 1843 to 2003.

This book talks about the factories that physically made matches, the entrepreneurs who established them, the difficulties they faced and the varied items they produced. Most of what they manufactured is now valued as collectables worldwide, some are very scarce indeed. The book illustrates many of these items.

Previously unknown factories have been identified, and the author has been able to clear up mysteries surrounding certain factories that have puzzled collectors for many years.

Lighting up Australia by Jerry Bell