Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Crayons have existed since Egyptian times, where they combined pigment with beeswax. This was mixed on the painting however and not in the form of a drawing implement. Later, pastels were developed, which are a mixture of chalk and pigment. These were in the form of sticks of chalk. But anyone that has taken an art class knows how messy pastels can be, the color gets everywhere.

It wasn't until liquid paraffin was combined with pigment that you got something easy to hold and work with, and not messy. Various companies made crayons before Binney and Smith started their American factory. But their product was the one that took off.

Edward Binney devoloped Crayola (a combination of the French words for chalk and oil) crayons about the turn of the 20th century. They were in stores by 1903 and sold for a nickel a box.Binney and Smith was already a well established company at this time, their signature product was lampblack, which is a long-lasting black paint, which can be used on many different surfaces.

At first the company made crayons just for artist's use, but after the company won a gold medal at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, they decided to use this medal to launch a new product. The medal was for their dustless chalk, but in those days, the award was considered a great achievement. If you look at a Crayola package, you will notice that they still show the award. Crayola was repackaged as a children's product.

1905 the 8 color box is introduced in regular and large sizes.

1939 a 52 color box was introduced, only to be discontinued within a few years.

1949 the 48 color box was created.

1958 the 64 color box, with sharpener, was introduced and was immediately very popular.


There are 120 different Crayola colors . Today they come in packs as small as 8 up to all 120 colors. Crayola also offers colored pencils and washable markers. Crayola also now owns Silly Putty, another classic toy.

You can get a 200 pack of Crayola crayons, but these include colors besides the standard 120,including glitter, metallic, etc

No comments:

Post a Comment