History of Candle Making

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Who invented the candle?

Candles were invented independently in many countries. The Egyptians and Cretans made candles from beeswax, about 3000 BC. In the fourth century BC there were clay candle holders in Egypt. Qui Shi Huang (259 – 210 BC) was the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC). His mausoleum was rediscovered in the 1990s 22 miles east of Xi’an in China and contained candles made from whale fat. In early China and Japan tapers were made with wax from insects and seeds, wrapped in paper. Wax from boiling cinnamon was used for temple candles in India. There is a fish called the “smelt” or candlefish, found from Oregon to Alaska. During the first century AD native Americans used oil from this fish. They put it on a forked stick then lit it. Excavations at Pompeii discovered several candelabra. The Latin word “candere” means to flicker. Yak butter was used for candles in Tibet. In Europe the earliest surviving candle was discovered near Avignon in France, from the first century AD. In 848 King Alfred used a candle-clock which burned for 4 hours. There were lines around the side to show the passing of each hour....

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