From London's Ghost Acres

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Candles were first made of beeswax or tallow. Beeswax candles were high quality and expensive, while tallow candles were cheaper but didn't burn as well. Throughout the 19th century advancements were made involving stearine, vegetable oils (palm oil, coconut oil), and paraffin wax. Some candle manufacturers began using the process of saponification, which was already being used in the soap-making industry. This process was used to refine animal and vegetable oils to produce stearine. By-products of this process included oleine and glycerine, while a byproduct of the distillation process of oil to get paraffin wax was kerosene. The candle industry was able to make profits from both candles and the by-products.

Candles Stearine 861

Candles Other Kinds 869

Candles of all Sorts 1302

candles 1662

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