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Tallow candles


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The kids made the comment to me the other day, that now I can make candle just like the old days. This started the conversation onto just what did they use for candle, and the conclusion was, it was most likely lard and tallow, with bees wax being for the upper class.

Question, has anyone played around with tallow candle? I render my own for soap making, so have plenty on hand to try.

Interested in everyones thoughts.


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Tallow candles would have been quite common, in the early days of the U.S.. There probably weren't many bee keepers around in our Colonial days.

I'm thinking most, if not all, would have been tapers.

Not sure about the techy details. You might check some of the 'renesiance' (sp?) web sites. Some sites with info about the shakers or the Amish.

In the meantime, google is your friend:





And this one is suitable for ALL chandlers. :)


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When I was about 10 we went to a nature center here and each of the students made a tallow candle. OMG I remember how much It STUNK! But I have a hard time cooking hamburger sometime because I think it stinks so I could have just been me! I think it was just tallow and a wick and we hand dipped it, turned into a taper. I dont think it ever got burned, gave it to my parents for christmas that year. wonder what ever happened to it?

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If I am remembering history correctly, what was used first was fish oil, and it was used in a lamp type device with a wick or these used pine wood "knots" as a light source. Tallow was used later after they had started to raise animals, but that didn't happen at first. They also used whale oil.

And I also remember that most of these were quickly replaced when something else came along due to the odor.

But I could be very wrong, history class was more than 20 years ago now.

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