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Who Really Invented the Candle?

Let's light up some fascinating history: Who truly deserves the credit for inventing the candle?

Who Really Invented the Candle?

Who Invented the Candle

The Earliest Forms of Artificial Lighting

Human beings have been dependent on artificial lighting since ancient times. The earliest forms of artificial lighting involved using torches made from resinous wood. A wick made from reeds or papyrus was threaded through the torch, which was then lit to provide light. The torch was the first type of portable lighting to be used by early humans.

Out of necessity, early humans learned to create artificial light to extend their working hours beyond daylight. They used the light from fires, torches, and lamps to facilitate activities like hunting, cooking, and reading. Natural light sources such as sunlight, moonlight, and starlight were insufficient for people to perform their daily tasks effectively.

Early Adaptations of Candles

The first candles were invented in China around 200 BC. These early candles were made by rolling sheets of beeswax around wicks made from rice paper. It was only the wealthy that used beeswax candles in their homes. Candles made of tallow, a form of animal fat, were used by the rest of the populace, especially in temples and churches.

Ancient Rome also used candles, but these were made using whale fat and were not as long-lasting as beeswax candles. Candles were made using lard in Germany, while in Japan, vegetable wax made from wax tree berries was used as a substitute for beeswax.

Modernization of Candle-making

The industrial revolution brought about major advances in candle-making. With the introduction of beeswax candles in the Middle Ages, candle-making was revolutionized. During the 18th and 19th centuries, advancements were made in candle-making with the introduction of stearin and paraffin wax. With the shift from using traditional candle-making techniques to more industrialised processes, candles became more affordable and accessible to the broader public. The discovery of electricity eventually led to replacing the use of candles as the major source of artificial light.

In the 1800s, Joseph Morgan developed the first machine that could produce candles in mass quantities, allowing candles to become more affordable. Advances in technology during the 20th century also had an impact on candle-making. Today, candles are produced using a variety of materials, including soy wax, beeswax, paraffin wax, and vegetable-based wax blends.


The discovery of candles revolutionized ancient societies' ways of life, allowing them to extend their working hours and provide time for after-dark activities. From beeswax candles during the middle-ages to the introduction of new materials such as paraffin and soy wax, the evolution of candles has kept pace with the changing times. The candle is a symbol of light and warmth, bringing joy to millions of people across the world.

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Notable Figures in Candle-making History

Joseph Morgan

When it comes to the modern candle-making machine, Joseph Morgan is a notable figure in history. Born in Manchester, England, Morgan was a scientist who invented the machine in 1834. Prior to this, candles were made by hand, a slow and tedious process that took a lot of time and effort.

Morgan's invention revolutionized the candle-making industry by producing candles faster and more efficiently. The machine used molten wax that was poured onto a moving belt and then processed and rolled into a cylindrical shape. The final result was a high-quality candle that was uniform in shape and size, making it easier to use and more attractive in appearance.

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday was an English scientist who played a significant role in the study of electricity and electromagnetism. His contribution to the candle-making industry was the discovery of the relationship between lighting a candle and its behavior.

Faraday conducted various experiments to understand the chemistry behind the behavior of a burning candle. He discovered that lighting a candle causes the wax to melt, and the melted wax vaporizes to form a flame that then burns, producing light and heat. This discovery is fundamental to the burning process of candles and has led to a better understanding of the chemistry behind the phenomenon.

Yankee Candle Company

Founded in 1969 by Michael Kittredge, Yankee Candle Company has emerged as one of the leading candle-making companies in the world. What started as a Christmas gift for Kittredge's mother has grown into a successful business that offers a wide range of scents and products.

Kittredge made his first candle by melting crayons, but his creativity and passion for candle-making allowed him to expand beyond that. He established his company in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and began selling candles at local fairs and markets. The high demand for his handmade candles made him realize that there was a huge market opportunity in the candle-making industry.

Today, Yankee Candle Company offers a diverse range of candles, from classic scents to more modern and exotic fragrances. Their products include scented wax melts, reed diffusers, and candle holders, among other things. Yankee Candle Company has become a household name and has brought comfort, relaxation, and ambiance to homes worldwide.

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The Significance of Candles

Candles have been around for centuries and have served many purposes throughout history. From religious ceremonies to decoration and even to their health benefits, candles have remained an essential item in many households. Let's explore the significance of candles in different aspects of life.

Religious and Spiritual Significance

Candles have played an essential role in various religious and spiritual practices throughout history. In many cultures, they are thought to possess divine energy and bring hope, faith, and purity. Christianity, for example, uses candles in various religious services and celebrations. One of the most significant events where candles are used is in Advent and Easter. Advent candles are lit during the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, while in Easter, they symbolize the resurrection of Jesus. In Buddhist traditions, lighting candles can express gratitude towards ancestors, while in Hinduism, candles are used to represent the divine consciousness or the inner self.

Decorative Uses

Candles are also a popular decorative item in homes and events. They provide a warm and cozy ambiance that can help create a relaxing atmosphere. With their different shapes, colors, and scents, candles are incredibly versatile and can add an element of style to any room. These days, candles come in a variety of designs that can be personalized according to the occasion. For instance, candles can be decorated with designs that complement the theme of a wedding or a birthday party.

Health Benefits

Aside from candles' religious and decorative uses, studies suggest that candles may be beneficial to our health. Over time, candle makers have introduced non-toxic and natural candle versions, which are less harmful to users than traditional candles made of paraffin wax. For instance, soy candles and beeswax candles are better for air quality and for people with allergies. The essential oils in some candles provide numerous health benefits too. They can help reduce anxiety, relieve headaches, and even improve sleep quality.In conclusion, candles have been an essential item in history, and its significance extends beyond just being a source of light. Its relevance has evolved to play an essential role in religion, home d├ęcor, and even our health. With many benefits associated with candles, it's no wonder they have remained significant in different aspects of our lives.Learn about the early history of farming vehicles and who invented the first tractor

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