Researched and written by Rachel Rabinowitz, Collections Manager and Visitor Services Coordinator, Claire Goode, Living History Specialist, and Teresa Marcus, Community Engagement Coordinator
Guess what the mysterious object from our collections is and learn the truth behind it. This is the second in a new series of short videos focusing on our historic collections. See the first one here.
Spoiler Alert! The Answer is Below
The video features what's called a rushlight.
A rushlight is a less expensive alternative to candles, as beeswax was expensive and those made from beef tallow turn rancid after a short time. Ours is made of iron and holds a rush—the inner part of a common plant that grows by waterways, the rush is then dipped in melted fat (typically leftover cooking grease) multiple times and then left to set. Unfortunately, like the beef tallow candles, burning kitchen grease is another unpleasant smell and dripping, burning hot fat is never a recipe for success. These lights do allow for repurposing of an abundance of cooking grease into a cheap lighting alternative, especially if the household using them rears pigs in any way.
Holder, Rushlight (1974.04.03)- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lew Coit
For More Information
Learn more at the resources below:
Grow the ReLeaf Fund
Recently, London Town launched the ReLeaf Fund. This newly created fund was inspired by the cycle of renewal in our gardens. Donations to it will ensure that London Town will grow again. Funds will be matched up to $35,000! Learn more and donate today!
London Town: Today and Tomorrow Survey
You may have noticed an increase in our online postings lately. Will you take a short survey about what posts and virtual programs you'd like? You can also share your thoughts about re-opening London Town and what sort of programs you'd like to see after the crisis is over. Take the survey here