About Candle-Lite Company – Collectables
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Candle-Lite Company Poster

It all started in 1840 when Thomas J Emery, an English settler, began selling candles and illuminating oils from a store-front on Water Street in Cincinnati. The Emery Candle Co. was founded on the principles of quality, value, service and innovation.
Thomas Emery Jr continued the family legacy and in 1886 hired chemist Dr Ernest Twitchwell who invented a process a process for the hydrolysis of fat. This discovery of isolating stearic acid from tallow was the basis for a new wax formula that created a whiter, sturdier, dripless candle. (Dr Twitchwell later received the prestigious Perkin Medal in science for the Twitchwell Process.)
After suffering from a severe flood and a devastating fire, The Emery Candle Company moved from its original location near the Ohio River to a larger facility in St. Bernard in 1885.
By the turn of the century, Emery Candle Co. was firmly established in the American market, was a major exporter to Europe of candles and chemicals and invested in real estate.

The Emerys, known for their philanthropy and interest in culture and the arts, actively invested in their community. After Thomas Jr’s death in 1906, Thomas Jr’s wife, Mary, Initiated a project that was extremely important her. Dismayed by the unsanitary living conditions in downtown Cincinnati, Mrs Emery set out to establish a planned community. In 1923 Mrs Emery enlisted the help of Charles Livingood, a close family friend and business associate, and John Nolen, a renowned town planner, to develop Mariemont which was planned as a beautiful, independent community and a national example of attractive efficiency
Jack Emery, Mary’s nephew, moved from New York City to help with the family business. Finding the business struggling, Jack devoted himself staying in Cincinnati and reviving the Emery enterprise.

By 1925 the candle and chemical divisions of Emery Industries split and the candle manufacturing moved to Mariemont, Ohio.

The Emery family maintained control of the business until 1952 when Al Levinson and John Margo purchased the candle business, renamed the company “Candle Lite” and moved the entire operation to Leesburg, Ohio.
In 1969 two extruding machines, which greatly improved production capabilities, were purchased from Prices Patent Candle Co. in England. The manufacturing of votive candles was revolutionised with the addition of prilling towers, one added in 1970, the second in 1972 and a third in 1979.

In 1972 the Emery Candle Company was purchased by the Lancaster Colony Corporation who specialised in glassware and household products. The glass container filled with scented wax was an innovation that resulted from the acquisition, making Candle-Lite one of the first U.S. companies to market such a candle.
Candle-Lite quickly recognised that consumers were using candles throughout their homes, welcoming the new experience of fragrance and ambience. Lab technicians readily seized the opportunity of uniting distinct wax formulas with different fragrance oils.

Quality tapers were able to be produced at a high level or production with the implementation of two rotary taper moulding machines, installed in 1984.

In 1988, automated tea light production was installed that used presses, wickers, cuppers and auto packing equipment.

On January 31st 2014, Candle-Lite was acquired by Centre Lane Partners. Candle-Lite division offices are located in Cincinnati, Ohio while the manufacturing plant, warehouse and distribution centre are still in the village of Leesburg.

 

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