Newest addition to July 4th celebration created in Canfield

Local News

Inventor Warren McClurg came up with the strike-to-light sparkler after his daughter got burned

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – What would July 4th be without fireworks? We all start with sparklers and now there’s a new version made in Canfield that can be lit without a match or lighter.

The world’s only strike-to-light sparkler is being sold in time for the Fourth of July — and it’s made locally.

“It’s a little bit of a celebration for me after the long, bumpy road to bring this to market. It’s a nice feeling,” said Warren McClurg, the man who developed Spark-eez.

He came up with the idea after his daughter got burned while trying to light a traditional sparkler.

“What I did was come up with this chemistry that would allow it to strike-to-light and self-ignite,” McClurg said.

The chemistry involved microscopic particles. That caught the attention of Homeland Security, which wanted to know why McClurg was using certain chemicals.

The tip of the sparkler is dipped in the special liquid, which gives it the ability to light using a strike pad.

“First of all, safer because I’m getting the heat source out of the hands of a user. No more lighters or matches necessary. I think it’s convenient. You no longer have to run to a store to go buy a lighter,” McClurg said.

He said Americans use 500 million sparklers a year. July 4th is 40% of the market but weddings and birthdays are growing, too.

Spark-eez is dipped in Canfield and cools in just a few minutes.

The only place you can buy them around here is at Inner Circle in Canfield or through the Spark-eez website.

“I think it’s imperative we put an emphasis on the manufacturing side. Our goal here and now is to grow a market share and to be able to build a larger facility. Hire some people locally and start to get a more robust industry in the Valley,” McClurg said.

It sparks easily, which led to the name Spark-eez. McClurg said the name came from singer-songwriter Eric Carmen.

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