History of matchworks in Sivakasi
In the early 20th Century, Mr. Das Gupta set up a Match Factory in Calcutta with small semiautomatic Japanese machines, frames and gadgets imported from Japan. He made some experiments with Colour Matches, and also produced some gerbs, fountains and large size crackers.
At that time, two enterprising young men, Mr. A Shanmuga Nadar and Mr. Iya Nadar (cousin brothers, both now deceased), set out to Calcutta on business, where they stumbled upon the small Japanese match factory next to the lodge they stayed in. These two gentlemen toyed with a few match sticks there, brought with them a few materials and attempted to make their first matches in Sivakasi.
The idea of match making mooted them to make Colour Matches also, because the processes were more or less similar. During this period, Colour Matches and Star Matches were imported from Germany. Books on chemistry helped them to improve the quality of their products. Slowly they got organized and stabilized the production.
Then onwards many people started safety matches production and today about 3500 Match works are situated in and around Sivakasi. Nearly 30,000 persons are directly employed. The market for safety matches grows at the rate of 10% per annum.