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The History of Candles

explanatory Essay
1107 words
1107 words
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In the beginning of man-kind the only source of light was sunlight or firelight. Candles delivered an entirely new perspective, allowing us to travel and complete tasks in the night. Up until the 1900’s candles were the only source of light other than sunlight (“The history of candles and candle making from candlewic” 1). Over history there have been many changes and advancements in the candle making process and its uses.
At the very start of civilization cavemen were discovering the brand new idea of transporting fire. Once they realized saturating wood with left over animal fat fueled the flame, improvements of the idea appeared quickly. One of the very first improvements the cavemen partook in was covering the interior walls of the cave in fat soaked sticks and wedging them into the cracks of the cave walls. This extinguished darkness and gave them a more convenient lighting system (Schutz 11).
All at once many civilizations were discovering a new design of candles that resembled candles made today. It is thought the Roman Empire created the first candle that is similar to our modern day candle. These candles were molded in two different forms, one with similarities to a torch and the other with a twisted wick. The first, a torch-like candle, had a “… predominant fibrous center and was used as a portable light for night travelers” (Schutz 12). The other had a thin core of fibers that were twisted and braided together. This type of candle was mainly used inside homes for concentrated light (Schutz 12). These early candles were made from extracted animal fat called tallow and were made by a simple process of melting and pouring the fat into a mold. The distinction that made it more like our modern day candles was by insertin...

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...affin has become the most common material used for making candles today, allowing it to be widely known and inexpensive (Schutz 13).
Even though candles are not as popular today, and certainly not used as often, they have been an important part of the world’s history. Without them, our history would have turned out a lot differently and our activities definitely would have been hindered. The breakthrough of candles allowed us to move forward as a race and make the advancements of man that much brighter.

Works Cited

Dyde, Jess. “Candle Making by Jess Dyde.” 1 0f 7. 10/25/2013. www.history.uk.
“History of Candle Making.” 1 of 2. 10/25/13. www.naturesgardencandles.com.
Schutz , Walter. Getting Started in Candle Making. New York, NY: Collier Books, 1972. Print.
“The History of Candles and Candle Making from Candlewick.” 1 of 3. 10/25/13.
www.candlewick.com.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that until the 1900's candles were the only source of light other than sunlight. over history there have been many changes and advancements in the candle making process and its uses.
  • Explains that cavemen discovered the new idea of transporting fire at the very start of civilization. they covered the interior walls of the cave in fat soaked sticks and wedging them into the cracks.
  • Explains that the roman empire created the first candle that is similar to our modern day candle. these were molded in two different forms, one with similarities to a torch and the other with twisted wick.
  • Explains that the egyptians created a candle-like tool called rushlights that had elongated pith centers that were coated in tallow. enhancements like wood selection, braided wicks, and wax type all coincide to form the best candle man could make.
  • Explains that candles had the main purpose of being a light source for thousands of years, but when electricity was invented in the late 1700s, they became obsolete.
  • Explains that the religious candles made in the middle ages were prepared by priests and were accompanied by a blessing soon after their production.
  • Explains that tallow was the first common material for candles. it smelled bad, burned poorly, and produced a dim light, despite its flaws.
  • Explains that bay-berry wax was discovered by early colonial american settlers, who discovered it was possible to attain a much more appeasing wax by boiling the berries from the shrub.
  • Explains that beeswax, unlike tallow, was a clean burning and minimal smoke producing wax. the only downsides were the small quantities and high prices.
  • Explains that spermaceti wax is a waxy crystalized oil that was withdrawn from the whale's head and was hard enough to hold shape in the hot summer months.
  • Explains that paraffin was discovered in the 19th century. it is considered the ideal material for candle making because it emits a powerful light.
  • Opines that candles have been an important part of the world's history. without them, our history would have turned out a lot differently and our activities would be hindered.
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