is a brand of artistry supplies
manufactured by Crayola LLC
—founded in 1885 as
Binney & Smith
—best known for its almost
. Originally an industrial
pigment supply company, it soon shifted its focus to art products
for home and school use, beginning with chalk
then crayons, followed later by colored
, modeling clay
other related goods. All Crayola-branded products are marketed as
and safe for use by children,
making the brand a perennial favorite among teachers and
The company also produces Silly Putty
and a line of professional art products under the Portfolio Series
The Crayola brand has 99% name recognition in U.S. consumer
households, and its products are currently sold in over 80
The company was founded by cousins Edwin
and C. Harold Smith in New York City in 1885 as Binney & Smith.
products were colorants for industrial use, including red iron oxide
pigments used in barn paint and
chemicals used for making
tires black and extending their useful lifespan. Binney &
Smith's new process of creating inexpensive black colorants was
entered into the chemistry industries competition at the 1900 Paris Exposition
the title "carbon gas blacks, lamp or oil blacks, 'Peerless' black"
and earned the company a gold medal award in chemical and
pharmaceutical arts. Also in 1900, the company added production of
school pencils. Binney's experimentation
with industrial materials including slate waste, cement
, and talc
, led to the
invention of the first dustless white chalk
for which the company won a gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis World's
In 1903, the company produced its most famous innovation—the first
brightly-colored child-friendly crayons
which it sold under the brand name "Crayola." The Crayola name was
coined by Alice Binney, wife of company founder Edwin and a former
school teacher. It comes from "craie," the French word for "chalk,"
and "ola," for "oleaginous," or "oily." The crayons that had
existed previously were toxic and either too expensive for general
use or dull in color and produced for industrial uses such as
marking shipping crates.
Modern (2009) 64-crayon pack sporting
In 1949, Crayola dramatically expanded its available crayon colors
by introducing the 48 color pack. Further expansion took place in
1958 with the introduction of the 64 color pack that included the
company's first crayon sharpener built into the box. The 64 color box was
called "a watershed" moment in the history of the Crayola crayon by
The Smithsonian National Museum of American
History curator David Shayt.
In 1977, Binney & Smith acquired the rights to Silly Putty
. Crayola markers were introduced in
1978 to coincide with the the 75th anniversary of Crayola crayons.
Colored pencils and a line of washable markers were added in
Crayola telescoping 150 crayon
Crayola crayon packs come in a range of sizes from packages of just
a few crayons sold to establishments such as hotels and restaurants
to hand out to their young guests all the way up to 832 "Classpack"
bulk boxes marketed to schools. The colors contained in a package
have ranged from 2 up to 200 (although a 200 color package includes
"special effect" crayons such as glitters or neons, etc.). In
general, though, the most common retail packages are multiples of
eight with 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 96 and 120 packs being marketed
today. A 150 crayon pack featuring a plastic telescope-like case
was introduced in 2006 and includes 118 regular color crayons, 16
glitter crayons and 16 "Metallic FX" crayons as well as a built-in
sharpener at the apex of the tower.
As the size of Crayola crayon packs increased from the original
eight pack, the variety of colors available have also
increased—reaching 120 unique standard crayon colors by 1998. Since
1998, new colors have been added, but always replacing existing
colors. In all, thirteen colors have been retired bringing the
total number of regular colors ever produced to 133.
Officially retired Crayola crayon
The thirteen officially retired crayon colors are "Blue Gray",
"Lemon Yellow", "Orange Red", "Orange Yellow", "Violet Blue",
"Maize", "Green Blue", "Raw Umber", "Thistle", "Blizzard Blue",
"Mulberry", "Teal Blue" and "Magic Mint".
Some colors have been simply renamed rather than replaced, often
due to cultural sensitivity issues. For example, "Flesh" was changed to
"Peach" since not all people have a white complexion, and "Indian Red" was
changed to "Chestnut" out of concern that the name was mistakenly
being linked to the skin color of Native Americans,
although the name actually referred to a red pigment from India.
"Prussian Blue" was renamed to "Midnight Blue" since the country of
has long since ceased to exist and
the name fell into disuse.
Here are the colors of crayons that are included in the 8, 16, and
||+8 = 16 pack
||+8 = 24 pack
Crayola released its Metallic FX specialty crayons
featuring metallic colors; the new set of sixteen crayons were
named by Americans and Canadian via mail-in
Metallic FX crayons
|Crayola Metallic FX Crayon Colors
Blast Off Bronze
Big Dip O'Ruby
Deep Space Sparkle
Crayola has also recently added other specialty crayon products to
its lineup, including scented crayons, washable crayons,
triangular-shaped crayons, sidewalk crayons, twistable crayons,
window crayons, and large-sized crayons.
A Yale University study found that the smell of Crayola crayons is
one of the most recognizable scents for adults, ranking at number
18 trailing coffee and peanut butter that were number one and two
respectively, but beating out cheese and
bleach which placed at 19 and
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History maintains a
collection of Crayola crayons founded by an original 64 color box
donated by Binney & Smith in 1998. The collection now includes
more than 300 boxes of crayons.
Crayola crayon was inducted into the National Toy
Hall of Fame as a founding member at its inception.
Crayola has been featured in segments from the popular children's
shows Sesame Street
, with the official 100 billionth crayon
molded by Fred Rogers
February 1996 at the plant in Easton.
Commemorative postage stamp
the United States Postal
Service issued a 32 cent postage stamp to commemorate the
cultural impact the product has had on almost all Americans.
Although the crayons debuted in 1903 and
the stamp is titled as such, the box depicted includes the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Gold Medal insignia (dated MCMIV) won by Binney & Smith for
their dustless chalk so it can not be the original 1903 package
The stamp is part of the 1900s decade sheet of the Celebrate the Century
series and was designed by Carl Herrman, illustrated by Richard
Waldrep and printed by Ashton-Potter USA using the offset
Crayola Color Census 2000
In 2000, Crayola held the "Crayola Color Census 2000" promotion in
which Americans were asked to vote for their favorite Crayola
crayon color. Celebrity entrants George
chose "Blue Bell,"
chose "Wild Strawberry," and
Courtney Cox Arquette
"Red." Overall, "Blue" came in first, with "Cerulean" second and
"Purple Heart" third. Full results are available here
The Crayola Factory
Crayola Factory is located at 30 Centre Square, Easton,
Pennsylvania at Two Rivers Landing, separate from the main
manufacturing plant in the same city.
The "Factory" is open
to kids of all ages. Despite its name, the "Factory" is not an
operational full-scale manufacturing plant, but rather a museum and
visitor center geared towards familiarizing guests with Crayola's
history and products.
A girl draws with Crayola-brand
crayons in the Crayola Factory
"discovery center" was built that showcases the manufacturing
process of crayons. There is also a "Crayola Hall of Fame" in which
the retired crayon colors are displayed.
The Crayola Factory was recently featured in a Food Network
episode of Dinner: Impossible
. A dinner was
held for 150 employees of the Crayola Factory to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the 64 box of crayons. Chef Michael Symon
's mission was to create an eight
course tasting menu for this event where all eight items of the
menu had to match eight randomly chosen Crayola crayon
In October 2003, the Factory unveiled "The World's Largest Crayon,"
a 15-foot crayon weighing 1,500 lb as part of its celebration of
the 100th year of Crayola crayons. The giant crayon is blue and was
made of leftover crayon bits sent in by children across the United
Although marketed towards children and amateur artists, there are
several professional artists who have specialized in using Crayola
crayons as their primary medium. Don Marco, who works with Crayola
crayons and construction paper, is one of the better known crayon
artists—having sold over one million prints of his original
Crayola LLC produces a broad range of products other than their
famous crayons under the Crayola brand name. These include color
pencils, markers, inks and paints, modeling clays, coloring books
and artists' tools. As with all Crayola products, these are all
marketed as non-toxic and safe for use by children.
is a silicone polymer
toy used for various purposes. Silly Putty was inducted into the National Toy
Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Portfolio Series, a line of water-soluble oil pastels
, drawing pencils, colored pencils,
and acrylic paints
that are marketed
to artists and educators,
Binney & Smith acquired the Liquitex
corporation—a producer of fine art supply products—in 1964 but sold
it to the ColArt company in 2000.
Numerous products ranging from bath and personal care items to
bedding and electronics are produced by other companies using the
Crayola brand name under license.
In the 1996-1997 season Crayola produced christmas lights using
their name with colours such as pink, orange, and blue
Initially formed as a partnership
1885, Binney & Smith incorporated
corporation became a publicly-traded company under the symbol BYS
on the American
Stock Exchange in 1963 and later moved to the New York
Stock Exchange under the same symbol in 1978.
In 1984, the
company was acquired by the Hallmark
company, a privately held corporation. On January 1,
2007, the "Binney & Smith" moniker was retired in favor of the
"Crayola LLC" corporate name to showcase the company's well-known
brand, which is in use in more than 80 countries and had 99% name
recognition in U.S. consumer households.
has manufacturing plants in Easton, Pennsylvania, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Mexico City, Mexico.
Because Crayola LLC is a privately held company, it is not required
to release detailed financial data publicly.
- The Crayola Factory
- Crayon Craziness: Dinner: Impossible