We anticipate both options were utilized. I’ve seen a summary of firestarting in a handbook for house servants within the earlier 1800’s. They portrays 1st approach, wherein sparks tend to be hit into a tinder container. Plainly char towel wasn’t used, since the handbook reports that a “usual assisting girl” can build fire within twenty hour. Next method had been likely more widespread though. It does the job a lot better with smaller bits of char, amadou or tinder pipes (view below).