Candles have been used as a source of light for more than 5,000 years, yet little is known about their origin. We do know that candles played an important role in early religious ceremonies. All the way back in 165 B.C. candles were used in ceremonies like Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.
Colonial Women Were The First To Contribute To Candle Making In America
It was Colonial women that offered America’s first real contribution to candlemaking. The women would boil bayberry bush berries to produce a sweet-smelling wax.
The 18th century brought great growth in whaling and candles were then created with spermaceti, a wax obtained from crystallizing sperm whale oil. The wax became widely available.
In the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract stearic acid from animal fatty acids. This led to the development of stearin wax. Stearin candles are still very popular in Europe.
In the 1850s Paraffin wax was introduced after chemists learned how to efficiently separate the naturally-occurring waxy substance from petroleum and refine it.
Candles Are Still Popular And Used For Things Other Than Light
Candle making has come a long way since their original uses. Candles are still used as light sources but are more commonly used to soothe the senses, ignite romance, honor a ceremony and to give your home a warm and lovely glow.
Today, candlemakers across Appalachia carry on candle making traditions. Today’s candles come in a variety of beautiful colors and delightful smells.
Throughout Appalachia, you will find modern day candle makers that take their craft very seriously. They produce handmade candles with their own style and flair. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular Appalachian candle makers that light up the world with their craft.
Appalachian Candle Company of Franklin, Tennessee
The Appalachian Candle Company was created in 2009 by native Joseph Townsend. Townsend began creating candles himself because he was unhappy with the quality of candles he’d purchased in the past. Today, the company is run by a family member, Stephanie Gorman.
The company creates hand poured candles that smell wonderful, are long lasting and made from organic soy. The company uses a unique cooling and curing process and custom made wicks. Hillbilly Homebrew, Sangrias, Tennessee Bourbon and Maple Bourbon are the most popular candles inspired by are alcohol inspired scents. The fragrances are blended with essential oils, which gives them unforgettable fragrances.
Appalachian Candles Company has truly made its mark in the candle making industry.
Love Lites Candle Company of Pikesville, Kentucky
Love Lites Candles are completely handmade and so popular because the candles are long lasting and smell absolutely amazing. The quality is just one reason customers keep coming back, but the incredible variety of scents is the main reason.
Love Lites offers more than 90 scents including Apple Pie Moonshine, Bacon Grease, Kentucky Butter Rum, Pumpkin Buttercream, and the always popular Strawberry Banana.
Twilight Candle Shop of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Joanne Schreiner and Paul Stern opened the Twilight Candle Shop in 2009 in Damascus, Maryland. They moved their business to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia in 2011. Every candle they create is carefully planned and poured.
Twilight Candle Shop only makes 100% soy wax candles, which they believe is the healthiest choice. Soy candles contain no paraffin, which means no toxins are emitted when the candles are burned. Soy candles are also safer to burn because they have a lower melting temperature. These eco-friendly candles are simply wonderful!
House of Candles of Henryville, Pennsylvania
The Coover family has been making candles since the 1960s and they have certainly perfected their craft. At one time their candles were available in retail stores, like Sears, but they had to pull out of selling in retail stores because they couldn’t keep up with the massive amount of orders.
House of Candles makes jar candles, votives, melts, beautiful hand carved candles and so much more. Every day they give their customers the opportunity to visit their store and watch as they hand carve candles.
House of Candles offers customers one of a kind candle masterpieces!
To learn more about these amazing Appalachian candlemakers be sure to visit their websites by clicking the links above!