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Wick trimmers

Description:

Candlelight was predominantly used throughout the Victorian period for most ordinary activities, such as dining and playing cards, as well as cooking. During the early part of the period, most candles were made from animal fat, although more expensive whale oil and beeswax were also used. By the end of the nineteenth century the modern paraffin wax candle was most commonly used.

 

The wick in an animal fat or tallow candle had to be trimmed frequently with a snuffer to prevent the candle from both guttering, when rivulets of molten fat ran to waste down the side of the candle, and from smoking, which added to the already unpleasant smell.


It was important that the charred ends did not fall into the molten fat where they could cause guttering. Candle snuffers with a box attached to the blades allowed the cut ends to be caught and contained. 


This set of wick trimmers are in the shape of a pair of shears. The looped handle provides a spring loaded movement in the two blades.

Place of Production:
Sheffield
Materials/Media:
iron alloy, steel
Dimensions:
length 125mm, width 40mm, depth 14mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1965.2095
Digital Number:
DMDM075n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council