Wax, originally refers to beeswax, though many types of waxes are available today made of other substances possessing similar properties. The traditional meaning of beeswax actually refers to a substance secreted by bees, which is used by them to build their honeycomb. Today, waxes are made using the natural secretion of plants and animals, later artificially purified using natural or completely synthetic petroleum. Wax is used for a broad range of purposes in the present times, though its initial use was limited to some specific purposes. If you want to know the history of wax and how it originated, read the article.
Interesting And Amazing Information On The Origin & Background Of Beeswax
Beeswax finds mention in historic writings, pointing to the fact that it has been around for quite some time. Pliny, who lived in the Roman times from 23 AD to 79 AD, has described the white beeswax, which he produced by boiling yellow beeswax in salt water. It was then mixed in broth to feed people suffering from dysentery. It was also used as a skin lightener. The great Roman poet, Virgil, has written about an invention by an ancient guardian of bees, who made a flute of reeds and used wax to hold them together.
In the middle ages, a Greek poet, Homer has noted beeswax being used to cover wooden panels. At that time, many Romans also got their statues made in beeswax to honor themselves. The Egyptians used wax to make figures of their deities and placed them in graves, in funeral ceremonies. The Assyrians are also believed to have covered their bodies in beeswax. When the Romans defeated the Corsicans in 181 B.C., they imposed a tax of 350 lbs of beeswax on losing side. Even in the first century AD, when Romans conquered the city of Trebizond, they demanded wax from the losing army.
Wax became a unit of trade for some and taxes for the other, in the medieval European times. In 1330, 2 lbs of beeswax tax per year was levied on a French region. Some records put forward that a French Monastery asked for a rent of 600 lbs. of wax per year, in 1632.Candles made of pure beeswax were exclusively required by the Roman Catholic Church at one time. The church regarded beeswax as symbolic of the flesh of baby Jesus, born of a virgin mother. The bees for making wax were brought to Puerto Rico by the church and the early priests and conquistadors.
It is fairly interesting to note that wax seal was also used to seal letters at one time, when envelopes were not in use. In the present times, the use of wax has diversified even more and it is used to make different kinds of products, ranging from candles and crayons to dyes, cloth designs, moisturizing creams, soaps and a variety of coatings. Wax is also being used today in reconstruction surgery procedures as also for making lubricants. There are also many varieties of wax available today, such as organic wax containing carbon materials.