Originally posted on my writing blog which was active from 2010 to 2018.
I was about to write in my medieval fantasy story about a character entering a dark room and lighting a candle he found on a table. Then I thought, hey, how exactly would one have done that before the invention of matches? Apparently you would have used a tinderbox. But I couldn’t figure out from the descriptions and pictures how all the pieces of a tinderbox actually worked together, so I watched this YouTube video. Then I realized there is no way any medieval person would use a tinderbox just to light a single candle in a dark room. They would either build a roaring fire and light the candle from that, or they would not light the candle at all. Stupid reality!