The wax jack was first introduced in 1700. Before that time a simple taper was used in a loose ball. Despite the resemblance to a candle, they were not used for illumination. Although common in England and Europe, they were not used much in North America.
A wax jack was a vertical or horizontal shaft around which a thin beeswax taper was coiled. The top end protruded through a hole in a pan that had a pincer to hold the taper in place. This allowed the taper to be lit and the resulting puddle of wax easily controlled. Some models, called "bougie boxes" had a pierced enclosure around the shaft to protect the taper. They were often used when travelling, and to protect the taper from mice. Others included a snuffer.
- "Wax jack - British - The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Of Wax-Jacks and Bougie-Boxes". The Regency Redingote. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Helaine Fendelman (7 May 2007). "Wax Jack: What Is It? What Is It Worth?". countryliving.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Wax Jacks - Internet Antique Gazette". www.internetantiquegazette.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- George Bernard Hughes (1970). Sheffield Silver Plate. Praeger Publishers. p. 114.
- Judith Martin (10 September 1989). "Who, What & Ware For the Table". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
If you don't mind your bougie being uncovered, you can hang it on a wax jack, but it is well known that bougie boxes keep the mice from nibbling your tapers.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wax jacks.|
- "New-York Historical Society - Wax jack/taper jack". www.nyhistory.org. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- US patent D244056, Louis Phillip Jimenez & Charles Houck, "Combined taper and holder therefor", published Apr 12, 1977