The history of candles dates back to ancient times, where they were first used as a source of light and to tell time. Candles have come a long way since then and have played an important role in many cultures and civilisations.
The earliest candles were made from natural materials such as tallow (animal fat) or beeswax. These candles were used in ancient civilisations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In ancient China, candles were made from whale fat and were considered a luxury item.
The introduction of the wick made candles easier to use and allowed for more control over the flame. In the Middle Ages, candles were a pricey commodity and were often used for religious ceremonies. Because of this, the Catholic Church was one of the largest producers and users of candles during this time.
In the 18th century, the industrial revolution brought about new techniques in candle making, such as the introduction of stearic acid, which made candles burn longer and brighter. This led to the mass production of candles and made them more affordable for day-to-day use.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, candles became a symbol of romance and were often used during special occasions such as weddings and Christmas. With the invention of electricity, the use of candles declined purely as a source of light, but they have since made a resurgence as a popular decorative item and a means of aromatherapy. They come in many shapes and sizes and vary greatly in scent!
Over the years, candles have meant a huge amount to different cultures and civilisations and will continue to do so for generations to come. We hope in the future that Helm will be remembered as one of history’s favourites!