www.whyville.net Mar 7, 2010 Weekly Issue

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Crayola Crayons: A Colorful History

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All through elementary school, it was on your school list, perhaps at the very top. For me, it was always what I wanted to get the most. A big, brand new, shiny box of crayons, all the tips sharpened to a perfect point.

Crayola has become a common name through out America; 98 in 100 Americans recognize the name. The word "Crayola" comes from the merging of two French words, craie (chalk) and oleaginous (oily). Though they sell a number of arts supplies, ranging from clay to chalk, their most famous product is their crayons. Invented in 1903 by cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith, the first box of crayons had eight colors: black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green. It cost only one nickel.

Since then, Crayola has grown a lot. There are currently 133 standard colors, my favorite being Macaroni and Cheese. There are also a number of special crayons with unique attributes. Here are some of them:

Magic Scent, 1994 - Crayons with a realistic scent.
Gem Tones, 1994 - Gem-colored crayons.
Changeables, 1995 - Crayons that, when run over with a clear "color changer" crayon, changed colors.
Color Mix-up, 1997 - Crayons with a base color with flecks of two secondary colors in them.
True to Life, 2007 - Crayons meant to make nature scenes look realistic.

Here are some interesting facts you might like:

- Crayola sells in over 80 different countries.
- The year 1958 is when the 64 pack of crayons with the sharpener was introduced.
- In 1998, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp featuring a pack of Crayola Crayons.
- America's favorite color is Blue, followed by Cerulean and Purple Heart.
- Emerson Moser, a Crayola crayon molder who molded 1.4 billion crayons, was actually color blind. He revealed this after he retired.
- 1996 is when the 100 billionth crayon was produced.

Crayola crayons have become a part of everyday life. They have, if you will excuse the pun, made their mark on history. Crayons will have a place in the hearts of children and adults alike everywhere.


Authors Note: Sources: http://www.vernonkids.com/cedarmountain/4thgradelinks/tests/crayola/crayolahistory.htm


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