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Sunday, 18 June 2017

526) Janos Irinyi: Inventor of the noiseless and non-explosive match: 200th Birth Anniversary: A 2000 Forint (Cupro-Nickel) commemorative coin brought out by the National Bank of Hungary under its Collector Series titled “Inventions and Technical Innovations of Hungarian Engineers and Inventors” on 18.05.2017:

526) Janos Irinyi: Inventor of the noiseless and non-explosive match: 200th Birth Anniversary: A 2000 Forint (Cupro-Nickel) commemorative coin brought out by the National Bank of Hungary under its Collector Series titled “Inventions and Technical Innovations of Hungarian Engineers and Inventors” on 18.05.2017:

The National Bank of Hungary has issued a coin on 18.05.2017 in its popular collector series titled “Inventions and Technical Innovations of Hungarian Engineers and Inventors”, which highlights Hungarian contributors to society and the cause of science.

The Series depicts persons and their inventions that have made a significant technical or scientific contribution to popular culture and modern life.

The latest coin highlights the inventor Janos Irinyi and his contribution which he invented and patented – the noiseless and non-explosive match and commemorates the 200th Anniversary of his birth.

Janos Irinyi (18.05.1817-17.12.1895):

He was a Hungarian chemist and inventor of the noiseless and non-explosive match.

Janos Irinyi was born on 17.05.1817 in Nagyleta (East Hungary).

He went to Secondary School in Nagyvarad (present day Oradea) and studied Law in Debrecen College.

He also studied Chemistry at the Polytechnicum of Vienna.

Later, Janos studied Agriculture and graduated from the Hohenheim Agricultural College (Germany).

In 1836, at the age of 19, while studying Chemistry at the Polytechnicum at Vienna, an unsuccessful experiment of his Professor, Meissner, gave him an inspiration to mix phosphorus with lead oxide instead of the hitherto used potassium chlorate in the head of a phosphorus match. He patented his invention and sold it to Istvan Romer – a match manufacturer and the rest is history.

With the proceeds of his sale of his invention to Romer, he went abroad to study at the University of Berlin and the economics Institute of Hoffenheim.

His first workUber die Theorie der Chemie” (Berlin – 1838) deals with the theoretical problems of Chemistry, focussing in particular on acids while also studying the amelioration of Alkali soils. He wrote this book at the age of 21.

He also participated in the Industrialization Movement of the Reform Era.

In 1839-40, he founded the first Hungarian lighting match factory in Pest which was in operation till 1848 and closed down when he took part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

His textbookA Vegytan Elemei” (Elements of Chemistry) was planned in three volumes, but only one got published in Nagyvarad in 1847 because he actively joined the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

In the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, he helped draft the 12 Points Demand of the Revolution, (a list of demands written by the Leaders of the Hungarian Revolution) together with his brother Jozsef.

In the 1849 War of Independence, Janos was commissioned as a Major and appointed to work at the Nagyvarad Gunpowder and Armaments Factory, in charge of manufacturing cannon and gun-powder and over-seeing state run factories.

After the War of Independence, he was imprisoned and released in 1850 under an amnesty, after which he withdrew from political life altogether and focussed wholly on science.

Thereafter, he worked at his family farm in Vertes.

Between 1863 and 1882 he worked at the Istvan Steam Mill in Debrecen.

He passed away on 17.12.1895.

His legacy:

He invented and gave the world the “noiseless” safety match which is in everyday use, in all corners of the planet to ignite a fire, whether in kitchens or on camp-sites.

Besides this famous invention, his scientific activities covered Chemistry and Agriculture.

He was the first scientist who recommended Calcium Sulphate for soil-improvement.

He was one of the first propagators of modern Chemistry in Hungary.

Apart from his patent of the modern match, he is remembered as one of the leading disseminators of the “new Chemistry” and played a key role in the development of chemical terminology, translating this vital information into Hungarian.

He was a strongly patriotic Hungarian nobleman, who actively participated in the Revolutionary Movements for the greater good of the Hungarian people.

The Commemorative Coin:

This Commemorative Coin has been minted by the Mint of Hungary with facilities in Budapest.

 An Uncirculated 2000 Forint Cupro-Nickel coin  -  Obverse and Reverse

                   The Obverse of the 2000 Forint Coin (Proof)
The Obverse of the rectangular 2000 Forint Cupro-Nickel Coin depicts a striking strip on the side of a box of matches, with a match lighting up in flame. The denomination of “2000 Forint” is shown in two lines above and below the match-stick. The name “MAGYARORSZAG” appears on the top.

The year of issue “2017” is shown at the lower bottom with “BP” denoting the Budapest Mint.
                 The Reverse of the 2000 Forint Coin (Proof)

The Reverse of the rectangular 2000 Forint Cupro-Nickel Coin shows a facsimile of a portrait taken from a photograph of Janos Irinyi, with his name being inscribed at the top of the coin. The years “1817-1895” are placed vertically on the left periphery. An inscription is repeated in micro-text on Janos’ jacket which reads in Hungarian “THE PATENTOR OF THE NOISELESS MATCH WAS BORN 200 YEARS AGO”.

A magnified view of the Reverse showing the text embedded in the fabric of the Janos’ jacket

A magnified view of the Obverse showing the iridescent effect of the lighted match

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 2000 Forint; Coin Quality: Uncirculated (4000 pieces), Proof (6000 pieces); Metallic Composition: Cupro-Nickel; Weight: 14.0 grams; Dimensions: 28.43 mm x 28.43 mm; Shape: Rectangular; Year of issue: 2017; Designer: Zoltan Endrody.

Links to posts on Hungarian coins & currency this Blog:


  1. Jayashree Mukherjee has commented:
    "Wow ! Good to know."

  2. Choudhary Roy S has commented:
    Truly speaking..
    Today only I came to know this fact..

    1. Even I got to know it when I was researching for this post.

  3. Vishnu Chandra Bajpai has commented:
    "Interesting information."

  4. Bineet Pandey has commented:
    "Very informative."

  5. Mita Banerjee has commented:
    "Always full of new info. Thanx!"

  6. Ramchandra Lalingkar has commented:
    "This post is interesting. How come, the 'Coin' is square? Normally 'Coin' means round piece of metal."

    1. Rambhau, these days several mints are bringing out innovative shapes to commemorative coins for ex: square, rectangular, triangular, and even raised imprints (called High Relief) for giving the coins exclusive shapes. The coins on "Quilling art" have been issued in transparent glass cases with paper art placed on the coins kept in place by the tight sealing of the glass cover (say paper flowers or bird shapes). An innovative Series from Mongolia on animals comes with a cutout on the coin itself in the shape of an eagle, wolf or owl. Different materials are also being used - for ex: Niobium in silver (a combination first experimented by the Austrian Mint in 2003 (and now copied by several mints live the Royal Canadian Mint), Silver-Percular (Percular is almost like a ceramic material and easily breakable) , Holographic images and so on. Out of the 15 odd emails I receive every day from various parts of the world on new coins, I am always on the look-out for innovative one for my blog.