QUESTION: Famed and accomplished inventor Joshua Pusey had a second career as what?
A) An attorney
B) A doctor
C) A psychologist
D) A custodian at an elementary school
What? You've never heard of Joshua Pusey?! He patented an invention that truly changed lives. If you have ever attended a reenactment depicting life in the 18th century or earlier, you have most assuredly seen how fires were started in the old days. You would get a little flint and strike a piece of steel with it, quickly and firmly. It creates a spark, which hopefully will ignite nearby cloth or straw or paper. Then, you would have to blow on the spark and hope that a fire erupted. After nurturing, you could keep warm or melt your marshmallows. This was how people made fire for thousands of years. A big step in 1827 began to change that, when an English pharmacist, John Walker, patented something he called "sulpheretted peroxide strikables." They required a stick about three feet long tipped with his concoction that, when struck against a rough surface, started burning. Refinements were made over the years until 1855, when Swedish innovator Carl Lundstrum introduced red phosphorus "safety" matches. They were much smaller and easier to use than Walker's creation, but were inconveniently packaged in wooden boxes. And that's where Joshua Pusey came in.
Born in 1842, the Philadelphian used red matchsticks to light his cigars for many years before deciding the wooden boxes were too inconvenient. So in 1889 he developed "flexibles," paper matchbooks with an included striking surface on the interior of the book, making it a little vulnerable. Of course, timing is everything. A few weeks after Pusey submitted his patent, another inventor out of Lebanon, Pennsylvania named Charles Bowman came out with his own design for paper matchbooks with the striking element on the outside - the way they continue to be found today. Soon enough, businesses printed advertisements on the covers of their matchbooks (the practice began in 1894), and a new hobby began called phillumeny.
ANSWER: A) An attorney