Crayola Crayons History

How did Crayola Crayons start?

Crayola Crayons – Here is the colorful history of the most famous coloring device that has become a part of almost every person’s childhood.

Crayons have become an integral part of children’s early steps in learning and exploring their artistic or creative side. A box of colors can bring excitement to a child. Just like many things, crayons also have its beginning story.

Based on the video from, this brand of crayons was created by cousins, Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith. They took over the management of Peekskill Chemical Company which was owned by Binney’s father.

crayola crayons

The company manufactured carbon black for car tires and red oxide pigments for painting barns. Eventually, carbon black was used to color shoes and for printer ink.

Then, the cousins created their company Binney and Smith Co. The first box with eight colors was introduced to the public in 1903. This was composed of black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green colors.

In 1900, Slate from nearby quarries was ground at the mill and this was used for pencils. Two years after that, Binney and Smith created the dustless chalk.

The cousins were very accommodating when it came to the teachers’ request to improve the students’ learning. One of the requests they got was to have better wax sticks.

crayola crayons

Crayons already existed before 1903 but they weren’t non-toxic. They were not brittle and very colorful. Crayola Crayons were sold for a nickel and this revolutionalized art in classrooms and eventually, in homes.

How the brand name was invented was credited to Alice Stead Binney, the wife of Edwin Binney. She used the French words for chalk (craie) and oily (oleaginous) and combined them. New features were introduced later on, like the classic Crayola Crayons collection in 1958 with 64 colors and a built-in sharpener.

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