Illustration from The Book of Woodcraft

Just a short note today.

I found an article on the online academic research site, The Conversation. Bradley Duncan, Professor of Engineering, explains the physics of fire making by friction. Seton enthusiasts will know that, as the expert practitioner of this ancient art, he probably began demonstrating his ability to audiences not later than 1902 (and likely for friends, even earlier).

In the 1913 Book of Woodcraft (and subsequent editions) Seton explained the bow and drill method, beginning with this introduction:

“I have certainly made a thousand fires with rubbing sticks, and have made at least five hundred different experiments. So far as I can learn, my own record of thirty-one seconds from taking the sticks to having the fire ablaze is the world’s record, and I can safely promise this: That every boy [and girl!] who will follow the instructions I now give will certainly succeed in making his [or her or their!] rubbing-stick fire.”

Give this a try when you have the chance. Good luck!

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