Candles have cast a light on man's progress for centuries. However, there is very little known about the origin of candles. Although it is often written that the first candles were developed by the Ancient Egyptians who 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 night. 


 Like the early Egyptians, the Roman's relied on tallow, gathered from cattle or sheep suet, as the principal ingredient of candles. 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.


Colonial women offered America's first contribution to candle making when they discovered that boiling the grayish green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned clean. However, extracting the wax from the bayberries was extremely tedious. As a result, the popularity of bayberry candles soon diminished. 
The growth of the whaling industry in the late 18th century brought the first major change in candle making since the Middle Ages, when spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil, became available in quantity. Like beeswax, the spermaceti wax did not elicit a repugnant odor when burned. Furthermore, spermaceti wax was found harder than both tallow and beeswax. It did not soften or bend in the summer heat. Historians note that the first "standard candles" were made from spermaceti wax.

It was during the 19th century when most major developments affecting contemporary candle making occurred. In 1834, inventor Joseph Morgan introduced a machine which allowed continuous production of molded candles by the use of a cylinder which featured a movable piston that ejected candles as they solidified. 

Further developments in candle making occurred in 1850 with the production of paraffin wax made from oil and coal shales. Processed by distilling the residues left after crude petroleum was refined, the bluish-white wax was found to burn cleanly, and with no unpleasant odor. Of greatest significance was its cost - paraffin wax was more economical to produce than any proceeding candle fuel developed. And while paraffin's low melting point may have posed a threat to its popularity, the discovery of stearic acid solved this problem. Hard and durable, stearic acid was being produced in quantity by the end of the 19th century. By this period, most candles being manufactured consisted of paraffin and stearic acid. 

With the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candle making declined until the turn of the century when a renewed popularity for candles emerged. 


Now in the turn of the Century we have learned how to make candle making fun and healthy. We use candles for spiritual & relaxation, rituals, traditions, fun crafts, and setting a mood. Candles still hold their energy saving reputation. Candles are mass produced all over the world now. Recently it has been learned that Paraffin wax and its Petroleum based chemicals are harmful, not to mention it leaves a nasty black soot on your candle holders, walls, and in your lungs too. With recourses becoming limited to our poor beaten down earth and animals becoming extinct... we now have discovered some years back that Soy Beans provide a great alternative that is biodegradable, no chemicals, completely animal free, healthy to breathe, and with no icky black soot. 

Soybean Candles are the trend and are becoming more and more popular as people learn that that there are many benefits to using them versus other wax candles. Soybean wax generally burns 30% longer, also giving you more for your money. While paraffin wax spills are permanent to carpet and fabrics... Soybean wax is easily cleaned up with warm water and soap (a degreaser dish detergent works best) since soybean wax when melted is much like a vegetable oil. 

We personally like to reuse our candle holders and candle jars, left over soybean wax is very easily removed while paraffin wax leaves not only a hard to clean up wax, but that icky black soot too. So, now if you are out in the store looking for candles... read what kind of wax it is made from and consider soy wax and all of its benefits... save your health and others, save animals, be eco-friendly, and support our local soybean farmers. 

You may find 100% Eco Friendly Soybean Candles loaded with fragrance! 

England 1788: 
"Bought and paid for a Dozen of candles 10 in the pound...8s 6d." 
...candles were usually sold by the pound. There were three principal sizes, eights, of which eight made a pound, tens,...and twelves, which were the least substantial... 
David Eveleigh, Candle Lighting (Shire Library), 2008