Candle making historY
candle making history,dating from primitive man through the modern era.
when man first discovered how to use fire to cook with, he began to notice that the fat dripping into the fire
caused it to burn brighter.with a little deductive reasoning man probably realized that he could use this animal
fat to light his dwelling.The first candles,were probably nothing more
than flaming lumps of animal fat. The candle probably
evolved from wood,rushes,or cords dipped in fat'
The existingevidenceis inconclusive as It would be almost impossible to attempt to date the origin of candles.
The existing evidence is inconclusive as to the candles history.Ancient words that translated as candle
could have actually meant'Torch or Lamp' The word candlestick actually meant a rack or stand to hold one of these lights'
Initially' candles were made from Tallow. Tallow is the solid fat extracted from animals, especially from cattle or sheep.
we do know that remains of candles were found in excavations in Greece and Egypt.These remains were closely dated at around 3000
thatscientistsbeganto see evidenceof the
B.C. It was not until the emergence of the Roman empire that scientists began to see evidence of the
development of candles as we know them today.The Roman method was simply to heat the tallow until it
developmentof candlesu, *"'k
liquefied.Next the tallow was poured over a wick material,usually made from the pith of rushes,which was
suspended from a horizontal,rod.As it was poured, the candlemaker would use his hands to smooth the cooling
tallow. A trough underneath,the suspended candles would catch the excess and then be returned to the
melting pot.The Romans used candles not only to light their homes and to facilitate traveling at night,but also
for their religious Practices'
During the middle ages,candles became associated with worship. In fact, priests manufactured beeswax candles
for their rituals and also for the secular population.Using the Roman method,they simply poured molten
beeswax over a wick material.The secular demand for candles began to grow and Candle Guilds were formed.
King Edward the IV had a servant whose only job was to keep a stock of grease and fat taken from animals after
they were slaughtered for use in making candles.
Early candles were made by suspending several wicks from a long rod called a Broach. The liquefied tallow was
poured into a container and the wicks were dipped three times and then hung on a rack and allowed to dry' After
this initial dipping,the candles would be repeatedly dipped until the desired thickness was achieved.
The practice of using molds to make candles began in the 15th century in France.The wax was poured into
hollow open-ended cylinders.These cylinders had a cap with a small hole in the center for the wick. The wick
was then placed in the mold and held in place by small wires. Once the mold was filled the wicks were pulled
taunt and the wax left to cool. And the wires were removed,
A true candlemaker would bleach his candles by hanging them outside.Although he would protect the candles
from the sun and the elements, he would keep them outside for 8 to 10 days.
In the 1820s braidedwicks were being used along with stearic acid.This chemical is a by-product of fat and was
blended into the wax to harden it. This created candles that burned longer.During this time periodS spermaceti
was also being used in making candles.Spermacetiis a solid waxy substance taken from the head of the sperm
whale.In America this was supplemented with Bayberry, a vegetable wax.
By the mid 19th century the Industrial Revolution had transformed the way candles were made. Paraffin had
begun to replace the venerable Tallow. However, handmade candles were still in demand.Especially candles
made for religious activities.Many of these had to be custom made.
Today,most candles are machine made by a molding process. As an art form, candlemaking still survives in our
modern world. The symbolism associated with candles is entrenched forever in our minds. It represents religion,
joy, sadness,and sacrifice.