Candle History

Light, a symbol of evolution and civilization, has followed man since antiquity. People were looking for and discovering different ways of producing artificial light and its use helped in evolution and in the current way of life.

The exact origin of the candles from prehistoric times can not be determined, the first records we know today are from ancient Egypt. Fat is the main ingredient used in ancient times to make the candles we know today. They created torches from a reed, filling them with fat, but due to the lack of wick we can not consider their candles, but after they added it, we got the first candles.

Visit Sithonia Candle history 2021 Greece

We know that fat has been used for the production of lighting on a global scale such as in Asia, India, America, Europe for at least five thousand years, with different ways and innovations across countries. According to research, the Romans are considered to have been the first to make wick candles. They also relied on the fat they collected from cattle and sheep as a basic ingredient for candles.

The candles in ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, mainly human figures and wreaths, flowers, etc. were made in the form of candles. who used them in their spring religious festivals. An important example is found in the fourth century where the sculptor Lysistratos Sikyonios uses wax models.

The use of fat was not an easy process for the production of candles, it had an unpleasant odor, a low melting point which resulted in the candles running and not enduring the summer months. In the Middle Ages, beeswax, the material produced by bees to make their hives, appeared as a raw material for making candles. The beeswax helped to challenge the uniqueness of the production of fat candles and had the advantage that they did not smoke and did not emit an unpleasant odor. To this day, beeswax is still an expensive ingredient in making candles.

Modern candle revolution

But the “candle revolution” happened in the 19th century. In 1811 the French chemist Michel Chevrell discovered that sourdough contained an important chemical compound, stearic acid. By separating stearic acid from other fatty acids, steatine was obtained. Glycerin + stearic acid = steatine (ester). In 1825 the twisted wick was discovered but the big change will occur after 1850 with the emergence of oil and paraffin as its derivative. By “paraffin” we mean especially the solid saturated hydrocarbons CnH2n + 2 with several carbons greater than 20.

With refining processes, the residue that remained after the distillation of the “crude” oil, gave a bluish-white wax that burned clean and without unwanted odor. But the biggest interest was its low cost. Paraffin wax was much cheaper to make than any previous fuel. While the low melting point of paraffin could be a threat, the discovery of stearic acid solved the problem. Hard and durable, stearic acid was made in large quantities from the end of the 19th century. From this period, most industrial candles are made of paraffin and steatine.

But the waxing continues today with a few changes, mainly in the forms and style. Mold technology has evolved and new additives such as dyes and perfumes are now available. Most modern candles are made of paraffin, although beeswax and soy have grown in popularity in recent years.

Although industrialization has brought many changes to our world, a large number of candles are still made by hand where the basic process of making them has remained the same for centuries. With this traditional passion and our many years of know-how, we continue to offer you quality products. Without being the main source of lighting, candles continue to increase in popularity and use. They are used to create a romantic atmosphere, to give additional quality to the decoration, to give a symbolic character to celebrations and ceremonies. In any case, they continue to give us light.

For further information and visiting hours to our local candle factory please contact me.

Maria Zafeiroudi

Mara Zafeiroudis

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