A Brief History of Candles
While we burn candles in the home for ourselves, we often don’t think about the origins that brought that candle there. Candles have played a significant role throughout human history.
Candles, to begin with, were the main source of light. Not only would they be used to light the home, guide people on the streets, they were used as a part of celebrations and events, and have been an integral part of human history. They’ve changed quite a bit since ancient times.
Animal fat, called tallow, was to original wax used to burn candles. This, as you could imagine, wasn’t the nicest burning wax compared to what we have today. The odour it gave off was quite pungent, the candle wick was made out of grass reeds. As candles were an essential part to everyday life, discoveries on how to make a more effective candles increased. While animal fat was the cheapest, bees wax increased in popularity. Not only did it have a natural sweeter smell, it was a slower burning wax so the light from these candles would last much longer.
Heading into more modern times, the mid 18th century saw huge developments in the candle industry, and candles became more standardised as new types of waxes were discovered, like stearin wax and paraffin wax. These burned much more effectively than previous waxes.
However, with the invention of the lightbulb (shout out to Thomas Eddison), candles were no longer a necessity and their role in the family home shifted from lighting to decoration. The candle industry saw a huge decline but still, developments occurred!
It wasn’t until the 1990s that soy wax was developed. This wax has a much cleaner, slower burn, than other popular waxes and candle making became more accessible.
Heading into today, candles are still an integral part of human life. We use them in celebrations, like birthday cakes, and are used in religious ceremonies. Candles bring comfort to the home, make them smell beautiful with the different fragrance oils available, add a touch of romance, and are decorative feature with all the different types of candle jars you can find these days.
While their roles has changed, their importance in our lives haven’t. If you are needing to add a few more candles to your home, why not give candle making a go? We are an Australian candle supply company that has all the candle making supplies you need to begin your journey.