As everyone knows, the ability to have light is a needed feature in our homes, but it wasn’t always as easy as snapping on a switch, candles were needed. Homeowners had to gather the materials in order to make their own candles, which were used as their main source of light. Here at Ross Farm we use beef tallow and beeswax to create our candles. While taking part in a hands-on group preparing candles, students will receive information as to why these two ingredients are used. Were they readily available 150 years ago, or did the settlers have to buy these produces?
The children will have the opportunity to make two different types of candles, which include the moulded candle and the dipped candle. The ingredients must be first cut into small pieces, taking care to add the proper amounts. As the tallow is melting on the stove, preparations are being made to ready the moulds, by fastening a wick in the center. When the tallow is melted into a smooth liquid it is poured into the mould. When the liquid is cooled into its solid form again, all candles can be removed. This may take several hours. Interpreters have prepared moulds on hand to show the finish product as the candles are removed from the moulds.