The United States, having been cut off from commerce with Europe for some time, had learned to depend more upon itself. Cotton and woolen mills had been built, discoveries of coal had given a new start to the iron trade, and American wits were hard at work over many new inventions. Among other things, matches now took the place of flint and steel, and when people wanted to light a fire in a hurry, they no longer needed to run into a neighbor’s house for hot coals.

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