Crayola Crayon History
You probably used them as a child, and still have a few around the house for your own children or grandchildren to use. I know I do!
They seem to be a quick fix for boredom when kids are around, and now come in many brilliant shades. There are even specialty sets that keep the interest of many children today. Yes, I am talking about Crayola Crayons .
Edwin Binney and Harold Smith formed a partnership in 1885 called Binney & Smith . These cousins produced printing ink and shoe polish. They purchased a stone mill in 1900 located in Easton, Pennsylvania, where they began to make slate pencils for schools. They invented a wax crayon, which was used to mark crates and barrels and it included carbon and was poisonous when ingested. They researched the possibility of making colorful and non-toxic drawing tools for children.
Finally, in 1903, they introduced a new brand of crayons, which were non-toxic and had superior qualities. They called them Crayola Crayons . The word Crayola was the creation of Edwin Binney's wife, Alice. It is the combination of the French word for chalk (craie) and oily (oleaginous). Actually they are more waxy than oily, but have become the favorite coloring tool for millions of children throughout the world.
1903 - Introduction with eight colors in a box including black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, violet and yellow. Available at the cost of 5 cents.
1949 - Forty colors were added
1958 - Sixteen colors were added
1962 - As part of the civil rights movement, Crayola decided to change the name of the flesh crayon to peach . It was an attempt to show that skin comes in a variety of shades. Also, Prussian Blue was changed to Midnight blue .
1972 - Eight fluorescent colors were added including atomic tangerine, blizzard blue, hot magenta, laser lemon, outrageous orange, screamin' green, shocking pink and wild watermelon.
1990 - Sixteen more colors added, and eight colors retired (blue gray, green blue, lemon yellow, maize, orange red, orange yellow, raw umber and violet blue). Retired colors were enshrined in the Crayola Hall of Fame .
1993 - Sixteen more colors added. By this time there were 96 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons. As part of the company's 90th anniversary celebration, crayon lovers were able to participate in the Name the New Color Contest to choose names for the 16 new crayons.
1998 - Twenty four new colors added making a total of 120 colors in the biggest box of crayons.
1999 - Educator's requested that Indian Red be renamed Chestnut . Some thought it was in response to the skin color of Native Americans, but it referred instead to a reddish pigment from India. The new name for the color resulted in a contest which had more than 250,000 entries.
2000 - Torch red was changed to Scarlet and Thistle was replaced by Indigo .
Specialty sets became available including: pearl brite crayons, techno-brite and glitter crayons.
2003 - Four new colors added and four retired. Newest colors include inch worm, jazzberry jam , mango tango , and wild blue yonder .
Today there are over a hundred types of Crayola Crayons - some smell like flowers, change colors, and can even be washed off of walls and other surfaces. You've come a long way baby!
Interesting facts about Crayola Crayons:
Crayola Crayons are available in boxes printed in 11 languages including Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Italian, German, French, Finnish, English, Dutch and Danish.
Two billion Crayola Crayons are produced yearly.
Until 2000, with the introduction of the Indigo colored crayon, you could not create a true rainbow.
The least used crayon is white, but it is very useful for coloring on some colored papers.
Out of the top ten favorite colors of crayons, the best liked are eight different shades of blue.
If you mix all of your crayons together, you will get black.
One of the most recognizable scents in America is Crayola crayons.
On average, children in the US wear down 730 crayons before their tenth birthday.
Manatee is an awesome name for a crayola color which is often used for coloring dolphins.
There are Crayola Crayon collectors out there. Perhaps you have some in your attic - here is what they are worth:
BS0298 With a special promotional box made for Flying Star Factory. Estimated mint value $150 for eight crayons produced in the late 1940s.
BS0047 Produced to commemorate Winfield Kansas plant. Estimated mint value $100 for eight crayons produced in 1952
BS0048 Acknowledged closing of Winfield Kansas plant in 1992. Estimated mint value $30 for eight crayons.
For more information about collectable crayons go to http://www.crayoncollecting.com
Check out this video - amazing collection of Crayola Crayons
I remember taking a magnifying glass and melting them into one another to make some great designs. And, of course, many hours of coloring in coloring books, and now that I am an artist, I am sure they played into my love of painting.
So, what is your favority memory about Crayola Crayons?
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