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History of Fragrant Soy Candles Fun Facts

 

Did you know that candles have been used for more than 5,000 years? Here are some fun facts on the history of candles:

 

  • Romans are generally credited with developing the “wicked candle” by dipping rolled papyrus repeatedly in melted tallow or beeswax. The resulting “candles” were used to light their homes, to aid travelers at night, and in religious ceremonies

  • Ancient Egyptians used torches made by soaking reeds in melted animal fat

  • Early Chinese candles are said to have been molded in paper tubes, using rolled rice paper for the wick, and wax from an indigenous insect that was combined with seeds

  • In Japan, candles were made of wax extracted from tree nuts

  • In India, candle wax was made by boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree

  • There are several Biblical references to candles, and the Emperor Constantine is reported to have called for the use of candles during an Easter service in the 4th century

  • By the 13th century, tallow (animal fat) candles and candlemaking had become a guild craft in England and France

  • Colonial women offered America’s first contribution to candlemaking, when they discovered that boiling the grayish-green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned cleanly

  • Historians note the growth of the whaling industry in the late 18th century was the beginning of the first “standard candles”. These candles were made from spermaceti wax- a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil

  • In the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract stearic acid from animal fatty acids. This led to the development of stearin wax, which was hard, durable and burned cleanly. Stearin candles remain popular in Europe today

  • With the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candlemaking began to decline

  • The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented surge in the popularity of candles, and for the first time in more than a century, new types of candle waxes were being developed. In the U.S., agricultural chemists began to develop soybean wax, a softer and slower burning wax than paraffin.

 

Candles have most certainly come a long way in history! Though we no longer rely on them for light, they still continue to grow in popularity and use. Today, candles can be used for ambiance, home décor, aromatherapy, and gifts.

 

(Facts referenced from the National Candle Association)

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