No longer humankind's first source of light, candles are still popular in the modern world. Today, candles symbolize celebration, mark romance, define ceremony, aid relaxation, and accent decor -- casting a warm glow that everyone can enjoy. In the past, however, candle making was a massive industry. More portable and safer than oil lamps, they were the main source of light for the developing world. The nursery rhyme, which refers to "the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker," gives some indication of just how important this business was to our ancestors -- the basic human needs being food and light. It can perhaps be said that human development would not have been so rapid had the simple candle not been invented. Many a composer, philosopher, scientist, poet, and painter has been allowed to continue their work into the hours of darkness by the intimate glow of candles. But providing light was not the only purpose of candles in the ancient world. Before the invention of reliable clocks, candles were a favored way of measuring time when it was discovered that they would burn continuously at a regular speed.
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