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Terry, I love the "Criscoonawick."  Unfortunately, I don't have any sources
for tallow candles for you.

I appreciate your intended use though and I agree that's it's relevent to
our mutual interests.  After I read (or maybe heard) an essay on how
Edison's electric bulb impacted the human sleep cycle and cycle of the day
in general, I started going to bed (i.e., ending the day) & reading by
candlelight.  I happened to own, for a short 2 years, a large 1853 house in
upstate NY and enjoyed using candles in the evening.  You experience the
architecture in a completely new way, that is if you're from the 20th C.
Another interesting experience was attending a dinner at the Tavern of the
Cooperstown Farmer's Museum.  The evening was a recreation of a typical
evening meal ca. 1845.  After the meal, we were entertained with period
songs & music & toasts--all by candle & oil lamp.  It was wonderful feeling
of disconnection not only of the rest of the world but even with the rest of
the house--no lights from afar, no noises of modern technology. (I'd better
watch it or I'll end up in a cabin in Montana).

Another idea for your students reading assignments might be constructing &
using old "betty" lamps, filled with bacon or chicken fat and a twisted cord
as wick, or reeds dipt, thusly.  (Haven't yet tried that myself).  BTW, do
these students have fire insurance?

Yr most humble servant,
Bryan L. W. Draper
Special Collections Assistant
The Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219-1905
Tel:  (804) 692-3704
Fax: (804) 692-3709
Email:  bdraper@lva.lib.va.us

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