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How Crayola Crayons are Made

Posted March 22, 2014 12:00 AM by Chelsey H
Pathfinder Tags: crayola crayons how it's made

Every child has their favorite toy. My favorite childhood activity was coloring with crayons…and they had to be Crayola. I think I just knew that they were high quality and timeless. Crayola crayons were introduced in 1903 by cousins Edwin Binney and Harold Smith. At the time crayons were limited to artists due to their fragile and toxic nature; Crayola crayons were the first crayons available for children. The name Crayola combines the French word "craie" (chalk) and "oléagineaux" (oily). The original box sold for 5¢ and included eight colors: blue, green, red, orange, yellow, violet, brown, and black. But by 1940 they were popular in both schools and homes and boxes included 64 colors.

The two basic ingredients in a crayon are pigment and paraffin wax. The mixture is heated until it melts into a liquid which is then poured into a preheated mold of 1,200 crayon-shaped holes. The mold is cooled with cold water, making a crayon in 3 to 9 minutes. Photo by Sir Fish

Hydraulic pressure is used to eject crayons from the mold and each crayon is manually inspected for quality. A non-toxic cornstarch and water mixture is used to hold the label on the Crayola crayon (in case any kids want to eat the crayon instead of color with it).

The label machine used by Crayola hasn't changed much since 1943! Bare crayons are fed from one hopper while labels are fed from a separate hopper. Glue is added to the glue pot and the label machine is started. The glue transfers to a slot in a drum that a crayon goes into. The label is then fed onto the drum where a roller presses the label against the glue; the label is then tucked and wrapped around the crayon twice.

Fun fact-Before 1943, crayons were hand-wrapped by farmers in the winter months to supplement their income.

Click the image below to watch a video of how crayons are made at the Crayola factory.

Crayons are packed in boxes of various sizes from 9-26 crayons per box and there are 120 crayon color possibilities.

Do you have a fond memories of your time with crayons?

Resources

Discovery Kids - Crayons

Art in Everyday: Crayola Crayons

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#1

Re: How Crayoloa Crayons are Made

03/22/2014 5:27 AM

Nice video.. made me smile
Del

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#2

Re: How Crayola Crayons are Made

03/22/2014 6:51 AM

Please edit the title.

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Re: How Crayoloa Crayons are Made

03/23/2014 7:48 AM

'Crayoloa' (in the title) looks Hawaiian.

The guy in the video pronounced the word 'crayon' almost like he was saying 'cran' - which is how my wife pronounced the word. I've always pronounced it cray-on.

Interesting video. Worth sharing. All those colors are like a reminder that Spring is arriving.

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Re: How Crayola Crayons are Made

03/25/2014 2:38 PM

Well according to a local authority, they get a giant vacuum cleaner and vacuum up rainbows....

Gets a little sketchy after that....

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Re: How Crayola Crayons are Made

03/26/2014 9:47 AM

Would this 'local authority' be sharing business plans with the Underpants Gnomes from South Park?

Step 1: Collect underpants.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Profit.

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#6

Re: How Crayola Crayons are Made

04/09/2014 12:41 AM

I took my kids to the factory when they were little. I loved it too. The electromechanical wizardry fascinates.

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#7

Re: How Crayola Crayons are Made

04/22/2014 8:15 AM

For a real treat take the kids and the "big kids" to the factory and museum located in Easton, PA. Very entertaining and interesting for the young ones. Very interesting and nostalgic for the big ones. Easton is located on the PA/NJ border along I-78.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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