Sealing wax

From Academic Kids

Sealing wax is used to seal envelopes. It is also used to take the impression of seals on important documents. Now mainly used for decorative purposes, it was formerly used to ensure that the contents of the envelope were secure.

It was originally made of a mixture of wax, turpentine and colouring matter: now shellac and other resinous materials are substituted for the wax. Originally the sealing wax was red, but now a range of colours is available.

Sealing wax is usually available in the form of sticks, sometimes with a wick, or as granules. The stick is melted at one end, or the granules heated in a spoon, normally using a flame, and then placed where required, usually on the flap of an envelope. While the wax is still soft, a seal with a design (often of metal) is impressed in it, sealing the envelope.

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