A Chronological History


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


Factory in Observatory, Cape Town burnt down and rebuilt.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


Price’s Candles purchased the sweating plant from Shell SA


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


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


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


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.


Decorative candle range introduced to South African customers


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


Obtains BS OHSAS 18001 certification from DQS GmbH.