Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chandeliers

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The first chandeliers were made of wooden crosses in medieval times. They were hoisted to a suitable height on a chain or a rope. Candles were used to illuminate the earliest wooden chandeliers. More advanced chandeliers were developed in the fifteenth century. Chandeliers became more popular as the merchant class grew and by the eighteenth century they were available to merchants, royalty and nobility.

Developments in glass making made chandeliers readily available for a larger range of homeowners by the mid eighteenth century. By the eighteenth century chandeliers were primarily oil powered. The chandeliers at this point were made predominantly of metal, but incorporate glass which made them cheaper and more attractive.

By the nineteenth century crystal chandeliers became gas powered. Many chandeliers that were oil or candle powered were converted to gas power. In the 1890’s the first electrically powered chandeliers came into existence. Electricity, however, was not readily available to most people at that point in time, so most chandeliers were built for gas and electric power.

As electricity became more widely available, chandeliers designed to run solely on electricity became the production norm.

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