Who invented candles?

Who invented candles? 
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Many people would be very surprised to learn that the candle, in some form or another, has been around for thousands of years. As for who invented candles? That gets a bit tricky to answer since solid proof or substantial evidence is hard to come by for those times. Some people or resources indicate that as far back as cavemen, if you believe in them, dipped sticks in animal fat and used those as a light source.

Well from my experience in playing way too many video games and role playing games, this would be called a torch, so personally, I can’t accept this as an answer for quite a few different reasons. One big one is whether cave men even existed. That is a hard one that really conflicts with a lot of peoples religious beliefs. I am still uncertain on this and waiting on the jury! 🙂

Was it the Egyptians?

Ramesses II Candle

One possible answer could be gleaned from the ancient times of Egypt and the beautiful pyramids, around 3,000 BC. It is said that the Egyptians used some forms of candles during these dark ancient times for light. Some have deduced that they would have used some kinds of tapers and wax or tallow, a form of animal fat. To this day, information is a bit scarce and as with anything regarding ancient times, there is much speculation.

I would have to think that a people who could engineer and build such renowned structures as great as the Egyptian Pyramids, would definitely have come up with an impressive light source for back then.

Was it the Romans?

Candle of Ancient Rome

Other people believe that the actual candle in its current form came from the Romans, around 750 BC all the way to the 1400’s AD. It is said that the Roman candles were rolled forms of papyrus dipped in bees wax along with pouring wax over flax, hemp or ropes which gave them a kind of wick. While a lot of innovations of today are attributed to things going all the way back to the Roman time period, it would be really hard to say if the actual candle came from them.

When it comes to ancient times, although we have done a great job as a whole, there are just too many gaps of unknowns to determine if candles came from the Ancient Romans!

Was it the Asians?

Buddha Statue

While scientific research has dated some Asian civilizations as far back as 9000 BC, little information is known about those periods in time and certainly no pictures or hieroglyphics to show what kinds of light sources people were using at that time. The areas of ancient Asia are huge and information is quite scarce. I have spent quite a bit of time looking through internet resources and could quite get anything I was looking for. It has been stated that some people believe that the ancient Asians used paper tubes, insect wax and wicks made from rolled rice papers.

To this day, candle making is a huge part of the Asian cultures and they have definitely perfected it into a fine art.

In conclusion, I will believe that the original candles were made in some type by the ancient Asians. It was a long period of time, we really don’t have anything to go on other than human kind living for 6000 years before the times of the Egyptians. I would have to think that there were many forms of lights during that time period in order to survive!

Thank you for visiting and please feel free to leave comments or to contact me!



  1. It may be quite uncommon for a person to wonder how things are. But I, for one, wonder the beginning of things. And this article happens to spark an interest in me. It makes me wonder too because, for all I know, candles are just made of wax. But the question f here it originated from is a completely blank space for me.

    Thank you for bringing this wonder into me!

  2. Hello and thanks for sharing, you know I never stop to think about who invented candles. There are so many of them in the world, big ones, small ones, fat ones skinny ones, candles with design, candles that have a wonderful odor and so on put like you pointed out candles have been around for thousand of years and so it is amazing how far candles came from down to our time. Thanks for sharing this information.

  3. Hhhm that’s a very interesting questions. We tend to take things for granted and never stop to think who do you owe them to, dont we? I love candles, especially the nice smelling ones. They transform your house into a cozy and fresh smelling place. Especially important when you have a dog and you dont weant the house to smell like it 🙂
    I Wonder if we will ever really find out for sure who actually invented the candles… Nevertheless its still an interesting article and you gave us something to think about

    1. Hello Anna!
      Thank you very much for the visit and input! Of course my other favorite thing in the world is my dogs and cats, lol! As for really finding out who invented candles? I doubt we ever will and as time goes on, the information will get more and more inaccurate, hehehe.
      Thank you very much!

  4. While I love candles, I never thought bout who invented them. The fact that Egyptians, Romans, and Asians all may have had a hand it in is fascinating. I go to Yankee Candle all the time and love the smell, but never gave a thought as to who invented then and what goes into making them. Reading about paper tubes, insect wax, and wicks would make sense I guess. How do they get the fragrance into them? Were candles back then used for heat, light, or something else?

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