Yes. During the Middle Ages, the candle was developed at its rudimentary form for the simple task of lighting common tasks and homes. It is thought, and partially documented, that these early chandlers would dissolve the fat of the whales head for the sticky wax coating of flammable wooden or flax sticks. This practice remained commonplace throughout the next three to four centuries, when a few new developments negated the use of whale fat for the making of candles.
Because whale beaching didn’t happen nearly enough for the candle to become a practical utensil in every home that needed light, animal tallow and fatty parts begun to find their way to the chandlers work space, and the wooden stick eventually gave way to the cotton wick. First this wick was solid and barely practical, but the weaved, long-burning wick revolutionized the candle shortly thereafter.
Once these developments were made, all of them by the turn of the 19th century, alternative waxes begun to surface and become more attractive to the population, particularly those folks with a few extra pounds and shillings to spare. Bayberry wax and that of bees became all the rage, though the processes used to extract wax from bayberries was a time consuming and laborious one indeed. Sometime during the middle of the 19th century, a Parisian chandler developed a method for molding candles, and the old dipping methods became something of tradition and craftsmanship rather than necessity.
The molding of candles allowed a wide variety of styles, sizes, types, and forms of candles to be developed. Worship, meals, studies, and work were all defined by the types of candles used to light the event. Today, we hold the tradition and elegance of candles on another level, without much thought to the importance and relevance of them throughout history.