Object: Candle

Image Credits

Tallow Candles


In general,  women made candles for their homes and for the businesses run by their families.   

Tallow candles were the easiest to make.  Rendered animal fat ( often half sheeps tallow and half cow tallow, but pig fat  can also be used) created tallow, and the tallow was melted .   Dipping wicks into the fat over and over again until the fat built up on the wick to create a candle made taper candles.   

Tallow candles smoke,  and burn down quickly, but they were readily available.

Beeswax candles were better, but in early New Amsterdam there may not have been enough beeswax available for a large number of these sweet smelling candles, so they may have been saved for special occasions.

Fall weather was ideal for making candles, and women would gather in groups to work on this task.   

Candlemas ( February 2 ) is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth. It is based upon the scriptural account of this event in Luke 2:22–40, which in turn was based upon an ancient Hebrew tradition from Moses described in Leviticus 12:1-8.

In Roman Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, some Lutheran churches, and Eastern Orthodox churches, candles are blessed on February 2 and widely distributed, a candle mass may be offered, and the day is widely known in the church calendar as Candlemas.

Old Woman with a Candle 1640 Matthias Stom