The virtual museum of stories through images

Home > Stories > Mining in the Victorian Age - Page 12/17

Mining in the Victorian Age

Tallow candles
Tallow candles
© National Coal Mining Museum for England (Photo: National Coal Mining Museum for England)
These candles are tallow candles. Tallow is a hard fatty substance made from processed animal fat, also used for making soap. Sometimes the candles were home-made but increasingly they were manufactured in local industry near to animal slaughter houses.

Mine owners often sold tallow candles to their workers at a profit, although some did give them to the miners free or at a lower price. If this was the case then the tallow might be dyed a distinctive colour so that a candle taken for use at home could be easily spotted.

This method of lighting could cause an explosion when it came into contact with the explosive gases present underground.
The images and texts contained in the site are subject to copyright. Any use of these materials outside the site is subject to authorisation by the owners.