1) A block of wax with a central wick, burnt for light.

It was candle-power that made coal-getting underground possible, even though the practice was potentially dangerous. It seems ironic that colliers were expected to provide their own candles although that was usually the case: an exception was sometimes made for ‘day-work’ when they might be provided by the employer. Commenting on the Halifax coalfield W.B. Trigg wrote: ‘Candles which were supplied when men were on day work cost 10d per lb. These seem to be of the kind known as dips, which were made by dipping the wicks into hot tallow, a process which was repeated until the desired bulk was obtained’. One unusual entry is worth noting: 1690 22 doz. of Candles at 3s 2d the doz: cometh to Ł3 9s 8d. Paid by Rob. Arthington in Cow tallow 2 stone 8lb is 7s 11d. Paid more in bull tallow 21lb 4s 1d, Farnley.

places Halifax Farnley
dates 1690

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0