Make your Own Candle at Windsor Historical Society During February Vacation Week


Tired of dark days and looking for something fun to do with your children or grandchildren during February vacation?  From Monday, February 15th through Friday, February 19th from 10a.m. to 1 p.m., join us at the Windsor Historical Society’s Hands-On-History Learning Center and make your very own hand-dipped paraffin candle to take home.  There will be different colors and scents to make each candle unique.  The Hands-On-History Learning Center, where children can try on reproduction colonial clothing, try out a child-sized rope bed, or “milk” Flavia the cow is open.  We will provide refreshments.  The cost is $10 per family, or $5 per adult, $4 for seniors, $3 for children and $2 for members.  A parent or guardian must accompany their children.


Candles are largely decorative today but have been used as a light source for thousands of years.  The ancient Egyptians and Romans used candles.  In the middle ages, tallow, or fat from cows and sheep was saved and used for candles which were smoky and smelly.  Chandlers or candle –makers would go from household to household, trading for tallow to make their candles.  Beeswax was also used in the middle ages to make a candle which burned brightly and with a sweet scent, but it was rare and expensive.  In the late 18th century, clear-burning whale oil candles began to replace the old-fashioned and smoky tallow candles and in the 1850’s, paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum, became the candle-making material of choice.  But very soon, the kerosene lamp and the light bulb (invented in 1879) would begin to put candles out of business.   By making a candle the old fashioned way, you’ll be participating in a time-honored tradition.


Windsor Historical Society’s winter-spring programming is supported by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts, the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.



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