Eighteenth-century colonists got up with the sun and worked until the sun went down in order to utilize the daylight. Once the sun slipped past the horizon, candles provided the only means of illumination - but it was dim lighting, at best, as seen in the photo below.
|Multiple candles provided the only lighting for this 18th century evening concert|
Candles were made by using metal molds or by the dipping method. Molds produced uniformly shaped candles, but could only be made in small quantities.
|This pewter candle mold can produce 32 uniformly-made candles|
|This chandler is holding a wood gauge used to help make dipped candles a certain diameter|
All candles require a wick to hold the flame. During the colonial period, wicks were made by twisting strings of flax and linen on a spinning wheel. Because twisted wicks do not burn away as the wax melts, they needed to be trimmed frequently with scissors.
|Candle wicks were made by twisting flax and linen on a spinning wheel|
|Tiny bayberries from a wax myrtle bush|
All photographs ©2016 Cynthia Howerter
Cynthia's been absent from Colonial Quills recently because she became a grandmother for the first time! Miss Reese Kelly made her debut into the world on July 31. Reese's middle name, Kelly, is a family surname that has been passed down by each generation of our family since the 1600s.
Are you going through difficult times or know someone who is? Do you need encouragement to get through a tough situation? There's nothing like true stories from people who have been in your shoes and succeeded. Click on the book title to purchase Cynthia's award-winning non-fiction anthology, God's Provision in Tough Times from Amazon. Available in paperback and Kindle.