there is no historical record of the first candles used by man, clay candle
holders dating from 4,000 -3,000 B.C. have been found in Egypt and a bronze
candleholder was found in (Tutankhamen's tomb) so they have been credited
as the first ones to develop candles. However, the Ancient
Egyptians used rushlights or torches, made by soaking the pithy core of
reeds in molten tallow. The rushlights had no wick like a candle.
It is the Romans who are credited with developing the wick candle, using
it to aid travelers at dark, and lighting homes and places of worship at
Most ancient candles were fueled by a variety of natural substances. Like the early Egyptians, the Romans relied on tallow, gathered from cattle or sheep suet, as the principal ingredient of candles. The Japanese used the wax from an insect. In India the wax from cinnamon was used, as the use of animal fat was outlawed. Early American Indians used a candlefish, by sticking it into a spear and lighting it and in Shetland, wicks were jammed down the throat of a sea bird and lit.
It was not until the Middle Ages when beeswax, a substance secreted by honey bees to make their honeycombs, was introduced. Beeswax candles were a marked improvement over those made with tallow, for they did not produce a smoky flame, or emit an acrid odor when burned. Instead, beeswax candles burned pure and clean. However, they were expensive, and, therefore, only the wealthy could afford them. In Medieval times, beeswax was an accepted payment for a Church tithe. In the 1700's, a substance from the head of the sperm whale called Spermaceti, was used because it burned slowly. Up until the 15th century, all candles were dipped. A French inventor created wooden molds in this timeframe
above information was gathered using the Mining Company and I have placed
it on my site as an interesting background to the candle recipes so that
you can appreciate the hard work that went into the candles to make them
what they are today. Thank God I was born in 1975 ::
grin :: I will be posting
my mother's recipes as soon as I get to try them out. In the
meantime, here are some others that are nice.
I am very interested in all aspects of medieval life. I started this website as a way to keep track of bookmarks while at my friends houses and to organize my bookmarks since I don't have my own computer. However, it is nice to have people visit my site since I love doing webpages.