Well this is one for the record books – in all the old documents and pieces of paper saved by my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, I would never have thought about finding a candling certificate in the bunch! This belonged to her brother, John Edgar Linton, who lived with their older sister, Alice Linton, as bachelor and spinster, until their death.
And you may ask, what is a candling certificate? Even though I knew what it was, I did research to give you a good answer. Eggs were candled for two reasons. One was to check to see if the egg was fertilized, to keep it in the incubator so it will eventually turn into a chicken! In the 1918 edition of the Fannie Farmer The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, she recommends to ‘Hold in front of candle flame in dark room, and the centre should look clear.‘
The other reason is more in the opposite vein – to make sure the egg isn’t fertilized, to be used for eating – and to make sure the eggs were not bad. The first picture above is a good egg – you can see why you wouldn’t want to eat the last one!
But he must have had pretty good eggs since out of the fifty he took to Washington County Produce Company on August 17, 1918, only two were refused. Interesting to note that they also purchased butter, hides and furs from local farmers.