Crayola Crayons

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Description
Cherished by generations of child artists, Crayola crayons were invented in 1903 by the Binney & Smith Company of Easton, Pennsylvania. Using paraffin wax and nontoxic pigments, the company produced a coloring stick that was safe, sturdy, and affordable. The name "Crayola," coined by the wife of the company's founder, comes from "craie," French for "chalk," and "oleaginous," or "oily."
This Crayola set for "young artists" was one of the earliest produced. Its twenty-eight colors include celestial blue, golden ochre, rose pink, and burnt sienna. The box is marked, "No. 51, Young Artists Drawing Crayons, for coloring Maps, Pictures" and contains twenty two of the original 28 crayons. The rear of the box depicts a girl coloring a piece of art on an easel and lists the crayon colors contained in the box. Both the packaging and the color names and crayon colors change over time reflecting social and cultural trends. Crayons are icons of American childhood that recall our collective memory for coloring both inside and outside the lines. Affordable and easily obtainable, they have transformed art education and fostered creativity in schools and homes, providing color to children for generations.
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1903
ID Number
2000.0073.41
accession number
2000.0073
catalog number
2000.0073.41
Binney and Smith
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition
Related Web Publication
http://americanhistory.si.edu/treasures
Place Made
United States: Pennsylvania, Easton
Physical Description
wax (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/2 in x 7 3/4 in x 1/2 in; 6.35 cm x 19.685 cm x 1.27 cm
National Museum of American History
Object Name
crayons, box of