The wicks of early candles were not entirely consumed as
the candle burned, making it necessary to constantly trim the
charred portion of the wick as it caused the candle to gutter
and smoke. A candle snuffer (not included), kept on a snuffer
tray such as this (foreground), was used to trim the wick - not,
as its name implies, to extinguish the flame.
|L-102 Snuffer Tray 9" x 3 1/4" x
A candle extinguisher (top center) allowed extinguishing the
candle flame with a minimum of smoking that would have otherwise
resulted if it was blown out. English extinguishers were generally
capped with a small brass ball finial while those made in America
were not. A 'douter' was also used to extinguish a candle flame
- it resembled a pair of scissors with two discs or pinchers
in place of blades.
|L-103 Candle Extinguisher 1 1/2" x 3"
The chamberstick (top right) is patterned after a fluted-edged
chamberstick owned by the Connecticut Historical Society. Rather
than illuminate an entire room, families would gather around
one or two candles; rooms where the family did not gather - such
as bed chambers - were not illuminated at all. When going to
bed, a candle or 'chamber' stick might be available to light
the way. In the morning they were returned to their place in
the kitchen or first floor landing for use the next evening.
|L-114 Chamberstick 4" x 1 3/4"