Candles have evolved over time from a utilitarian source of light to a decorative accent that has many different uses and benefits. Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate mankind’s celebrations for more than 5,000 years yet little is known about their origin. It is often written that the first candles were developed by ancient Egyptians who used rushlights, or torches, made by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat; however, the rushlights had no wick like a true candle. (Source: National Candle Association.)
Majority of the developments impacting contemporary candlemaking occurred during the 19th century; for example, paraffin wax was introduced in the 1850’s after chemists learned how to efficiently separate the waxy substance from petroleum and refine it. After the invention of electricity and the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candlemaking began to decline.
Although candles may no longer provide man’s major source of light, they now continue to grow in popularity and use: candles symbolize celebration, signify romance, soothe the senses, define ceremony and accent the style of home decors. They instantly change the ambiance of any indoor or outdoor setting by adding light to any space without the harshness of a bright electric bulb. The soft flickering of candlelight creates a relaxing atmosphere and add a sense of warmth.