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history of crayons

A Brief History of Crayons

July 25, 2018 Jessica 0 Comments

If you are like many people, coloring with crayons is a clear memory from childhood. Most of us had crayons in our desk at school, as well as at home.

Crayons are the perfect art medium for children, and some professional artists even use crayons to create incredible works of art.

Are you a fan of crayons?

Crayons: An Ancient Art Medium

Did you know that the word ‘crayon’ was first mentioned in 1644? Far before that, Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans mixed pigments with beeswax to bind color into stone.

The first crayons appeared in Europe and were made with charcoal and oil but we don’t know for sure when. One source says that Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar, described the first techniques of drawing with wax crayons,” stated History of Drawing with Crayons.  

3 Amazing Facts About Crayons

Here are a few other interesting facts about crayons:

  1. Around 1495, Leonardo da Vinci started using pastels to compose some of his works of art.
  2. ‘Conté crayons’ was an art medium that was part crayon and part pastel. In the 1790s, many artists were using conté crayons.
  3. In 1813, Jane Austen made mention of crayons in her novel “Pride and Prejudice.”

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” — Allen Klein

A Timeline of Crayola Crayons

crayons

Pixabay.com

In 1903, crayons took America by storm when Binney & Smith made the first box of Crayola crayons as a response to the need school children had for art supplies. Just 10 years later, the company began producing drawing crayons for art students. Also…

  • In 1948, Crayola began in-school teacher workshops to provide instruction to art teachers on how to use Crayola products. This is a tradition that is still going strong.

 

  • It wasn’t until 1958 that Crayola’s box of “64 Brilliant Colors” was first produced. It continues to be a top-selling product for the company.


Read more about Crayola’s colorful timeline, and find many additional facts about the history of Crayola products, here.

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.’ — Crayola  

Were Crayons a Part of Your Childhood?

Did you color with crayons as a child? Do you color with crayons as an adult? Share your thoughts with us in the section below.

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