The match business was booming at the turn of the 20th century when a match factory opened in Chesterfield County. The American Match Manufacturing Company started its Coalboro plant in 1903 near what today is Pocahontas State Park, according to Ken Shiflett, whose hobby is researching Chesterfield County history. The plant, which operated for 7 years, made its own matchsticks from trees grown on the property and received raw materials and shipped matches using a rail spur next to the plant.
Labor pain is a great equalizer. Queen Victoria suffered during childbirth, just like her subjects. Prince Albert had heard about chloroform easing the pain of childbirth and he asked about using it during the birth of their seventh child, Arthur, in 1850. The Queen’s three doctors advised against it, as did many doctors at that time. They considered using anesthetic during labor dangerous and an act against nature and God.
In May 1883, the volcano on the tiny, uninhabited island Krakatoa, in what today is Indonesia, showed signs of activity. By summer, loud noises and glowing clouds were reported. On August 26, the volcano began to erupt, and the next day it exploded in one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in modern history.