Whilst researching a little more about this book as I was preparing a series of promotional posts, I discovered that ‘Price’s Candle Factory‘ was indeed a genuine employer, with a long history and good employment record. This word comes not from the book itself, but from the company history page on Price’s website.
In the 1820’s a French chemist, Chevreuil, had published his researches into fatty acids. By mixing a strong alkali with vegetable or animal fats he discovered that the solution separated into liquid and solid components. This technique known as ‘saponification’, was already used by soap makers, but nobody had employed it for candle manufacture. William Wilson’s son, George, experimented with this process; by adding a further distillation using a vacuum or high pressure steam he improved Chevreuil’s basic chemistry. Price’s were now able to refine tallow and vegetable oils to produce a harder, pure white fat known as stearine. Candles made from this burned brightly without smoke or smell. The same chemistry could also be applied to a range of unsavoury raw materials that had previously been unusable – skin fat, bone fat, fish oil and industrial waste greases could all be rendered into hard white candles.
- Also called: tristearin a colourless crystalline ester of glycerol and stearic acid, present in fats and used in soap and candles; glycerol tristearate; glycerol trioctadecanoate. Formula: (C 17 H 35 COO) 3 C 3 H 5.
- Another name for stearic acid, especially a commercial grade containing other fatty acids.
- Fat in its solid form.
I am almost too ashamed to feature this amazing work of literary fiction, as I finished reading it so long ago and have yet to offer the author the courtesy of a review. If you have the chance, this book does come highly recommended and is well worth the reading time.
You must not get bogged down with abstract philosophies. Epistemology is a dead end…
The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.
Of or occurring every day; daily.
Ordinary or everyday; mundane.
(Medicine) Denoting the malignant form of malaria.
WONDROUS WORDS WEDNESDAY
… Is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading. It is hosted by Kathy, over at ‘BermudaOnion’s Weblog’. You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.
Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments as well, so that we can visit and share your words of the week!