Torch - Encyclopedia




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TORCH (0. Fr. torche, from Med. Lat. tortia, derived from tortus, twisted, torquere, to twist), a light or illuminant that can be carried in the hand, made of twisted tow, hemp or other inflammable substance. Torches or "links" were, till the general introduction of street lighting, necessary adjuncts for passengers on foot or in carriages in towns at night, and many of the older houses in London and elsewhere still retain the iron stands outside their doors, in which the torches might be placed.

Torchere, a candelabrum mounted upon a tall stand of wood or metal, usually with two or three lights. When it was first introduced in France towards the end of the r7th century the torchere mounted one candle only, and when the number was doubled or tripled the improvement was regarded almost as a revolution in the lighting of large rooms.

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