Reading by Tallow Candles and Rushlight

In Britain, for at least six months of the year, to read in the evening means using artificial light. From the 1850s, wealthier homes were lit with gas light but for most readers this was unaffordable. This meant the use of tallow – animal fat in the form of rushlights or tallow candles. In this video, Prof. Simon Eliot outlines just a few of the drawbacks and frustrations these light sources would have caused.


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