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Candles were a very important part of life during the 18th Century. Stop by Hands-on-History (accessible through the Education Center) to learn more about candles, light, and how people in the 18th century made their homes brighter in the days before electric lights. 

While you are here, make a birthday card to help celebrate George Washington's 292nd birthday! 

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Included with admission.

In the Hands-On-History Center, enjoy special activities for kids under 10.

Visit the Hands-on-History Center to discover more about candles and 18th century lighting at Mount Vernon. 

Before electric lights were invented, people relied on candles to provide light after the Sun set in the evening. We know that candles were made and used at Mount Vernon, and that the Washingtons also purchased candles and lamps that were the very latest in lighting technology. 

In Hands-on-History, you can: 

  • Explore the types of tools that were used for candle making 
  • Learn about how people in the 18th century would find ways to make rooms brighter. How does it compare to electric lights today? 
  • Make a birthday card for George Washington 

Visit Hands-On-History

Books, 18th-century costumes, a Mount Vernon dollhouse, and more are also available in the Hands-on-History Center. Families with kids 10 and under are welcome.

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