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Lucifer Holder
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Title: Lucifer Holder
Identifier: 979.18.1
Donor: Mr and Mrs A Fournier
Item Date: 1780-1820
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A round glazed beige ball with a flattened top and bottom. It has a round hole in the top centre with a tiny hole in the bottom, which cuts through to the base. The surface texture is rough, similar to an orange skin. The interior hole is smooth.

The holder is from England, late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century. It is possibly Doulton stoneware. Prior to electricity and kerosene lanterns, candles were used to light the farm house at night. This was made from both beeswax and tallow with an alum supplement to bound the two. Tallow was used for most candles since it was cheap. They were made by pouring beef or sheep fat into a mould. Tallow burned quickly and unevenly resulting in persistent sagging. Beeswax was a more expensive option, it lasted longer and would not emit odour. A happier medium between tallow and beeswax was adamantine.

For information on candle-making, see: Edwin Guillet “Early Life in Upper Canada” (1933); L.S. Russell “Lighting the Pioneer Ontario Home” (1966).
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   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Virtual Museum of Canada
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
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