The tallow trade.  

                Boiling beef

Candle mould

Candle dipping
Tallow is a purified form of beef or mutton fat. In 1800 it was still the principal source of candle light. The poor either made their own tallow dips from hoarded animal fat with rush wicks - known as 'rushlights' - or lived in darkness. The wealthy and the Church burned beeswax candles, everyone else used the cheaper tallow lights which smoked, smelled and guttered. Since the 15th century candles were made by pouring molten tallow into shaped pewter moulds. The tallow candle trade was generally perceived as a very low class activity, involving dead animals and unpleasant smells. New inventions would soon drastically reduce the demand for tallow for lighting. Aime Argand had patented the oil lamp (1780) with glass chimney and circular wick which burned whale oil and produced a far brighter light. Coal gas was being installed by wealthy households from 1800 and finally the stearine candle and platted wick caused tallow to be virtually abandoned by about 1840.