A Chemistry Prank From The April 1939 Issue Of Popular Science

These trick matches create serpents of ash. Happy April Fools' Day!

From the April 1939 issue of Popular Science magazine
From the April 1939 issue of Popular Science magazinePopular Science

WARNING: This is just a historical romp—so don't try it. Mercury and its compounds are toxic and can be corrosive. They can also emit harmful vapors even at room temperature, and may be fatal if heated and inhaled.