For the first several hundred years of firearms, the only way to fire your gun was with slow match. Slow match, or matchcord, is rope impregnated with nitrates to make it burn slowly, evenly, and reliably despite wind or rain. When the trigger was pulled, a lever applied the burning rope to the powder in the priming pan, thus firing the gun. This drawing illustrates a musketeer aiming his gun, with the slow match smouldering at both ends.
I have heard of a few different recipes for making slow match solution, and I decided to test a couple of them to see what the different characteristics are.
I am particularly interested in primary sources about slow match, written by people at the time the stuff was in use. If you have any information about slow match you have made, who you get it from, how you make it, etc., please send me e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.