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Friday, October 18, 2013

More Lewis and Clark Exploration

Last week we wondered how Lewis and Clark made light. We immediately thought of candles. We learned that they brought candle molds and wicks with them on the journey, and used elk fat to make them. When they stayed with the Clatsop tribe during the very cold and rainy winter of 1805, they could also have used the eulachon, or candlefish, for light. These fish, which the Clatsop caught in great quantities, are very fatty. It's said that a wick inserted in a eulachon's body can be lit and burned just like a regular candle!

We were fresh out of both elk fat and candlefish, so we made do with beeswax. Several children reported using their candles to light their dinner tables. Lovely!

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