Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

The stearin candle

The stearin candle

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

The stearin candle

Candle casting at Liljeholmens stearin candle factory. This is an old-fashioned way of making candles. Photo: Archive of the National Museum of Science and Technology.

The stearin candle

Candles on a conveyor belt at Liljeholmens stearin candle factory. Photo: Nisse Cronestrand.

Kort fakta om innovationen

Kort fakta (2) om innovationen

Rubrik för små genier


The stearin candle

Nowadays we use candles to make our surroundings  feel a little cosier But the stearin candle was an important innovation when it came. At the time people used candles made of tallow or wax, which blackened and dripped.

The stearin candle was invented in France in about 1825. Liljeholmens Stearinfabriks AB was started in 1839 by Lars Johan Hierta who also founded the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet. Today the factory manufactures 170 million stearin candles a year. Three thirds of candles are sold during the month of December.

Stearin is a mixture of two fatty acids, palmitic acid and stearic acid. A wick runs through the centre of the candle and when one lights it the flame melts the stearin. The melted stearin is drawn up the wick. When it vaporises a gas is formed which burns easily and allows the wick´s flame to continue burning.

Rubrik för nördar



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