Price's Patent Candle Company
From London's Ghost Acres
Price's Patent Candle Company began manufacturing candles in 1830 as Edward Price and Co. William Wilson and his partner saw a gap between the expensive beeswax candles and cheap but poor quality tallow candles, and built a factory at Vauxhall intending to create that niche product. Instead of using those traditional candle-making materials, Edward Price and Co. created candles made out of coconut oil from Ceylon. They then made advancements to produce stearine from tallow and vegetable oils, and the process was also applied to other animal waste materials. Stearine made a candle that burned brightly without smoke or smell, and the new stearine composite candles were very popular. By 1847, when Edward Price and Co. became Price's Patent Candle Company, they were using palm oil harvested in West Africa to make candles. The increase in use of palm oil was significant because it provided an economic alternative to the thriving slave trade in Africa. Price's Patent Candle Company still produced their popular stearine candles, but the waste materials from the process of creating stearine became an issue. George Wilson, son of William Wilson, took some of these by-products, like glycerine and oleine, and began promoting them with various uses. At the end of the 19th century, Price's Patent Candle Company had also begun producing lubricating oils. As production increased, Price's Patent Candle Company built more factories. By 1855, they had two factories in London and a factory in Liverpool that was closer to their West African imported palm oil. Price's Patent Candle Company then became even more popular due to their religious and education programs set up for the child workers at their factories, which were unheard of at the time. In the early 20th century the company began building factories worldwide to be even closer to the raw materials.