In 1998, the Crayola 64 box celebrated its 40th birthday with the reintroduction of its original packaging complete with sharpener and package graphics. To celebrate an actually crayon box and assortment of advertising became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The first box of crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel! It included the same colours available in the eight count box which were red, blue, yellow, green violet, orange, black and brown. The name Crayola came from Alice Binney the wife of the company founder Edwin and a former school teacher.
She actually combined the words craie which is French for chalk and Ola for oleaginous because the crayons are petroleum based. Binny and Smith produce more than 2 billion crayons each year! That is an average of 5 million a day. That is enough to circle the globe 4/1/2 times or make a giant crayon 35 feet wide and 400 feet long. The average child will wear down 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday! Kids 2-8 spend at least 28 mins a day colouring. Children in the U.S. spend 6.3 billion hours colouring annually. That is nearly 10,000 human lifetimes! Most crayons colour names are taken from the US Commerce Departments National Bureau of Standards book called “Color: Universal Language and Dictionary names.” Many crayon names also come from traditional artists paints.
Crayola Crayon colour names rarely change. However, there are some exceptions. In 1958, Prussian blue was changed to midnight blue because a teacher recommended that children could not relate to Prussian blue and its history. In 1962, the colour flesh was changed to peach because the company realized that not everyone flesh is the same shade so it made sense to just change the name. There are actually 120 core crayola crayon colors. However, now there are 400 new colours since 1903. Crayola carries more than just crayons. They also have pencils, markers, paint, clay, colouring books and tools. As well the company has more than 1000 print and color images, games, activities and crafts.
Crayola wants to raise creative children. They feel that creative people can problem solve and communicate in new ways. Every business needs people like scientists, engineers, researchers, artists, writers, illustrators, educators and parents. With the power of imagination and the incorporation of Crayola products children can learn to be creative and grow into great adults!