The tinderlighter or “tinder pistol” originated in the mid 17th century. Early models were likely built out of broken pistols. The operation is akin to using a striker to generate sparks on tinder to start a fire. The introduction of the sulphur match negates the need to produce a flame before being able to light the candle. Just another advancement in lighting technology. Now to find someone to do a video demonstration on making sulphur matches.
In this video, Keith Burgess (Le Loup – woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com) with the group New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760 (eighteenthcenturylivinghistory.freeforums.org) demonstrates how the tinderlighter works.