Each year, on March 31st children and adults alike, pick up their favorite colors for National Crayon Day. Opening up a box of crayons opens up a world of imagination and hours of fun.
- In 1903, Binney & Smith created the Crayola Division and produced colored wax crayons for children for the first time.
- Then in 1904, they presented their An-Du-Septic chalk at the Colombian Exposition in St. Louis winning a gold medal. The chalk was designed to be dustless at many teachers’ requests and was an immediate success.
- Wax and chalk-based crayons have been used by artists around the world for centuries. Edwin Binney created the brightly colored crayons we are familiar with today. He was part owner of Binney & Smith, a company that produced products such as paint, pigments and slate pencils for schools.
- The first Crayola crayon box sold for a nickel. It included the same colors available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.
- There are more than 100 Crayola crayon colors. There are 120 shades available now, to be exact.
- Officially, there are about a dozen more, but they are impossible to get your hands on because they’re retired or special edition (like Oprah’s crayon color “The Color Purple”)
- Crayons have one of the most recognized scents in the nation. The odor is a result of stearic acid — a derivative of beef fat — added to the batch to give the coloring tool it’s waxy consistency.
- The scent of Crayola crayons is among the twenty most recognizable to American adults
- America’s favorite crayon color is blue.
- Crayon stubs are informally known as “leftolas.”
- Crayola claims that the average child wears down 720 crayons by their 10th birthday.
- The 64 pack of Crayola crayons was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.
- Alice Binney, the wife of Edwin Binney, came up with Crayola by combining the words “craie,” which is French for chalk, and “ola,” for oleaginous, because crayons are made from petroleum-based paraffin.
- One of the few independent buyers of Crayola crayons is artist Herb Williams. He’s known for creating sculptures made up of hundreds of thousands of crayons, which he buys from Crayola in packs of 3000.
- The first time the term “crayon” was used in a literary sense, was in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813).
- Crayola makes 3 billion crayons a year…or 12 million per day. That’s enough crayons to circle the world six times!
- In 1962 Crayola changed the name of their “Flesh” crayon to “Peach”
- Emerson Moser, who worked for Crayola for 35 years was color blind.
- 223 billion Crayola crayons have been produced to date (March 2019)
- On average, children between the ages of two and seven color
28 minutes every day.
- Red barns and black tires got their colors thanks in part to two of Binney & Smith’s earliest products: red pigment and carbon black. Red and black are also the most popular crayon colors, mostly because children tend to use them for outlining.