Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to Light a Candle in Regency England

How does one light a candle in Regency England?

Usually with a "spill." It's a twisted piece of paper, long and narrow (from a distance it looks kind of like long kitchen match). It was common for a bunch of these to be kept standing in some kind of jar or vase on the mantel, then you lit them from the fire. If there's no fire in the room, then you’d have to light the candle with flint and tender, sparking at least enough of a fire to light the spill. There was also something called a tinderbox which was a small box of flint, firesteel, and tinder (typically charcloth, but could also be dry, finely-divided fibrous matter such as straw). The world became a much easier place with matches were invented! Matches were invented in 1823, and didn't come into mass production until around 1824.

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