In the 1800s, steel, flint, and tinder were still used to make fire. The first phosphorus matches were created in the 1830s. Matches were kept in special containers since they could ignite against any surface.

In 1844, Professor Gustaf Erik Pasch received a patent for invention of the safety match. Pasch replaced poisonous yellow phosphorus with non-posonous red phosphorus. He also separated the chemical ingredients for the match tip and put the phosphorous on a striking surface on the outside of the box. Matches could be lit only on this striking surface. The safety match was born. This was a significant invention, which made Sweden world famous. Unfortunately, production was complicated and expensive.

In 1864, the 28-year-old engineer Alexander Lagerman designed the first automated match machine. It was at this time, as manufacturing shifted from manual labor to mass production, that safety matches from Jönköping (Sweden) matches were exported all over the world and became world famous.

In 1868, the Vulcan AB match factory was founded in Tidaholm, Sweden. Today, the Tidaholm factory, owned by Swedish Match, is considered to have the most technologically advanced match production line in the world. Environmental considerations are an important part of the manufacturing process and dangerous chemicals have been removed and matchboxes are made of recycled paper.