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Rogers Historical Museum  

Donation of the Month

Donors: Frances Mills; Karen Russell Burks
2001.21.4; 2011.20.1; 2011.72.2

Due to their use as a light source candles have been around for centuries. With the use of kerosene in lamps and then the invention of the light bulb, candles as a light source diminished. However, candles are still popular for their ambiance and decorative uses. Even as the use of candles has changed the way they are made has changed very little.

Candles have been made of various materials over the centuries. In the 13th century candle makers called chandlers made candles from fats saved from the kitchen or sold their own candles from within their shops. More common were candles made from animal fat, called tallow. The Tallow Chandlers Company of London was formed in about 1300, and by 1415, tallow candles were used in street lighting. Tallow candles had an unpleasant smell so candles made from beeswax were used indoors. By the mid-1850s paraffin wax, made by distillation of coal, became commercially available. Paraffin wax burned cleanly, and left no unpleasant odor, unlike tallow candles. Due to a low melting point, by the 19th century stearin acid was added to the mixture to create a higher melting point allowing the candles to last longer.

The process of making candles has changed very little over time. Tapered candles, long narrow candles, are made by dipping the wick in a vat of hot wax and then pulling it out again and allowing the coating of wax to cool before dipping it again. This process takes a lot of time. In order to speed up the process long wicks were used and draped over a long rod, allowing several candles to be dipped at one time. The dipping method is still used for making decorative carved candles. Pillar candles or votives are made in molds. History records the first candle mold was used in Paris in the 15th century. Molds allow the wax to be poured into a pre-sized and shaped cavity, thus ensuring each candle was the same size. The use of molds also allowed the candle maker to get rid of the large vats of hot wax and allowed several candles to be made in a shorter period of time.

Candles today are not used exclusively for light, but more often for the ambiance or just for decorative purposes. Many companies produce decorative carved candles. These candles can be found at most candle shops, but the highly carved candles featuring swirls, bows, and various colored wax can only be found at specialty candle shops. In the 1970s, there was a renewed interest in the arts and this included the making of candles. To cater to this interest Helen and Blanche Stire opened a candle store on South 6th Street in Rogers. They carried locally made candles featuring Early American cut and pressed glass patterns. Their shop wasn’t open for very long, but the interest in decorative candles hasn’t wavered. Candles have been around for centuries and it appears they are here to stay for several more centuries.


More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Help One Another Club Quilt
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons


1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket






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