Waxing Scientific: After 140 Years, Company has Candle-Making Art Down Pat
By Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, 10/21/2009
MEDINA, Ohio — Making fine candles is a delicate balance of science and art. The right wax has to be combined with the proper wick for the best burn. Colors have to match exactly from batch to batch. Even the fragrance and hue of a candle need to be perfectly paired to meet consumers' expectations.
Those kinds of details are the business of Medina, Ohio's 140-year-old A.I. Root Co. Root has been in business since 1869 and early on made its mark as a manufacturer of beekeeping equipment…
Today, the Root Co.'s focus is primarily on candles, but beeswax — most of it from Iowa's Sioux Honey — remains an important ingredient. It's always been used in Root's liturgical candles, and now it's blended with other natural waxes in a new line of home fragrance products called Legacy by Root.
Beeswax, Brad Root explained, is desirable because it burns slower than other waxes. And in combination with other soy- and vegetable-based waxes, he said, it does a better job of emitting fragrances.
Some of the candles are made by pouring melted wax into tempered-glass jars. Some are made by dipping wicks repeatedly into hot wax in a computer-controlled version of the method used by early Americans. Some candles are formed in molds. Still others are made by compressing wax pellets that resemble snow…