• Pipe Spring National Monument

    Pipe Spring

    National Monument Arizona

Flint and Steel

Flint and Steel
What: Long before matches were available, flint and steel were used for firemaking. A spark is created by striking the steel across the edge of the flint or some other type of quartz rock. Tiny flakes of metal are chipped off. The action heats the flakes to the point they catch fire. The burning metal flakes or sparks are directed to material which burns easily. This may be dry plant or wood material. Most people carried a much more reliable material called char cloth. The usually cotton cloth was prepared by first charring in a fire then smothering. Once the cloth is ignited by the sparks, it is then transfered to a bundle of tinder and blown into flame. The ranger in the picture is demonstrating fire making.

Who: Both the pioneers and American Indians used flint and steel. The steel was a popular trade item for trappers and explorers trading to tribes in exchange for other items.
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Did You Know?

Pipe Spring Video

Pipe Spring National Monument has a new video! This video talks about the history and culture of the people who have utilized Pipe Spring: The Ancestral Puebloans, Kaibab Paiute, and the Mormon Pioneers. More...