A Chronological History

1830

The candle making company E. Price and Company  was founded by partners William Wilson and Benjamin Lancaster, at Battersea in the United Kingdom. Because the two men did not wish to associate their names with an industry they considered vulgar, they named the firm after a distant and presumably less sensitive aunt on Mr. Lancaster’s side.

It was during this period that they purchased the patent for the separation of solid and liquid constituents of coconut oil that produced a substitute for tallow (beef fat) used in candle making.

1840

The company, now called Edward Price and Company had 84 staff, and by 1855, 2,300. By 1900 it was the largest manufacturer of candles in the world. The white candle is developed by using equal parts of stearic acid from tallow and the hard fat from coconut oil, improved by the use of a French patented plaited wick.

1847

The company converted into a public company with a capital of £ 500 000.

1870

Paraffin wax displaced stearine as the most important candle making raw material. Paraffin waxwas obtained from distilling oil shale or petroleum to produce a wax distillate, from which wax crystals were separated by dissolving in naphtha.

1871

The Battersea plant foreman John Hodges invented and patented the sweating process, which remains an important wax production process today.

± 1900

Price’s Candles Limited is jointly owned by Shell, BP, Burmah Oil and Unilever.

1909

Price’s Candles Ltd bought the Burmeister Candle Factory in Cape Town. The premises were sold in 1923, and a new factory was opened in Observatory.

1910

The factory was built in Newtown, Johannesburg, and extended in 1923.

1959

Sasol started producing synthetic medium wax by the Fischer-Tropsch process. Price’s Candles Newtown installed the first liquid wax tanks in South Africa.

1960

Factory in Observatory, Cape Town burnt down and rebuilt.

1968

Decision taken to trade directly with selected wholesalers and retail chains.

1978

Introduced seven extrusion candle making machines into South Africa. The extrusion method of producing candles was developed by Price’s Candles UK.

1982

Shell UK purchased the 64% shareholding of Price’s Candles Limited from BP Trading (28%) and Burma Oil (36%) and sold the business rights of Price’s Candles (SA) to Shell SA (Pty) Ltd.

1984

Price’s Candles (SA) (Pty) Ltd registered on 1 January as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell SA, falling within the Business Venture Division.

Two new Herrhammer drawing machines are commissioned at the Newtown factory.

A third factory is opened in East London.

1986

White River factory acquired from H Timmerman. Durban factory (76% share) acquired from the Suleman family. Diversified into detergents and insecticides by taking over from Temana, the Teepol, Tabard and Vapona range of products.

Cera Oil SA (Pty) Ltd, a division of Shell South Africa, commissioned a sweating plant in Boksburg, for the production of paraffin wax for Price’s Candles, using slack waxes as feed materials.

Late 80's

SasolChem acquires Price’s Candles SA from Shell SA and operates it as a division.

1992

Price’s Candles purchased the sweating plant from Shell SA

1995

Price’s Candles division is sold to Daelite Industries (Pty) Ltd. The company now became Price’s Daelite (Pty) Ltd.

1996

Sasol Wax purchased the Boksburg sweating plant from Price’s Daelite

2001

Closed down all operations except Newtown. Extended and renovated the entire factory and offices. Concentrates now on manufacturing and selling of domestic candles.

2002

Sasol Wax relocated the Boksburg sweating plant to Durban.

Sasol Wax becomes the owners of Price’s Daelite (Pty) Ltd. The company’s name is changed to Price’s Candles (Pty) Ltd.

2006

Decorative candle range introduced to South African customers

2007

Price’s Candles becomes a division of Sasol Chemical Industries.

2009

Obtains BS OHSAS 18001 certification from DQS GmbH.