In the old days, candles were mostly made from tallow, a form of animal fat that provided an inexpensive way for people to light their homes at night.

Tallow is rendered animal fat, most often from beef or mutton. It's similar to suet or lard, other forms of animal fat, and has been useful in various ways through the years because it doesn't go bad at room temperature, stays solid, and is cheap. Today it's most commonly used for soap making or animal feed, though it can also be used in making biodiesel fuel.

Definitions of tallow
  1. noun
    obtained from suet and used in making soap, candles and lubricants
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    beef tallow
    tallow obtained from a bovine animal
    tallow mixed with oil; used to make leather soft and waterproof
    mutton tallow
    tallow from the body of a mature sheep
    type of:
    animal oil
    any oil obtained from animal substances
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