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The Kid Should See This

How were beeswax candles handmade 200 years ago?

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To make straight and smooth beeswax candles in the early 19th century, candle molds would be the method of choice. These tin molds were difficult, but the results for an experienced maker would be clean and consistent.

The easier option for making candles would be the dipping method. The candles weren’t perfectly straight, but they were rustic, functional, and took less effort.

Justine Dorn’s Early American YouTube channel demonstrates both candlemaking methods in the 2021 video above. In the comments, she writes:

“You would have had candles made of either tallow or beeswax. Beeswax was the preferred material because tallow burns black and can even leave a residue on your walls.”

pouring wax into the tin mold
A former intern at the 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House in Illinois, Dorn now produces historical short videos about daily life and cooking in 1820s Missouri, around the time that it became the 24th state in the union.

Follow Justine Dorn on Instagram and YouTube.

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