Fur Trade Fire Striker


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This is an original 18th century, or earlier, oval fire striker from the fur trade. A popular tool in the days of the 18th century North American frontier was the “fire striker, or “strike-a-lite,” or “fire steel” or, well there are a number of names for these things. The purpose is obviously to start a fire. The design is simple: a piece of carbon steel, which is struck against a piece of flint, chert, or similar rock, thus making sparks, which would then fall onto some sort of tinder, thus creating fire.

This original ground find was found by Robert Bennett, author of “A Pictorial History of Fur Trade Goods Mid 1600s to Early 1800s in the Mackinac Straits Area,” along the Michigan coastline. It has a faint marking, but I’m unable to determine what it says. Check out the blog post I did on these:

“Fire Strikers,” a.k.a., “Strike-a-Lites” in the American fur trade