There are all sorts of meaning for the word spill but one of the lesser known ones is a piece of paper or thin wood used to light a cigar or cigarette from a fire or candle. Spills for lighting cigars were usually made of cedar wood as this was supposed to help retain the flavour of the tobacco. Using candles, sulphur matches or lighter fluid all tainted the cigar.
We used to make spills of waste paper by folding a piece of paper about 6 to 8 inches long and an inch and half wide lengthwise in half and then over in half again and then once again. They were stored on the hearth in this wooden container which, I think, was made by Dad.
My grandmother also had spills in her fireplace and I think they were kept in this old brass cartridge case.
From the Ground
14 hours ago