Trivia Tuesday: Crayons

So I know that today is Thursday, not Tuesday, but this was meant to be Tuesday’s post.  I have a reason for not posting and I promise to explain my crazy week soon, but I’ve got to keep this short as I have two people sleeping in my room.

And away we go:

In 1903, cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith invented the Crayola brand and made the first crayons ever.  The original eight colors were black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green.

In 1948, the color pallet expanded to 40 colors.  Among them include Gold, Silver, White, Green Yellow, Yellow Green, Orange Yellow, Yellow Orange, Violet Red, and Red Violet.  This also started the trend of colors named after food and things such as Orchid, Thistle, Periwinkle, Cornflower, Salmon, Melon, and Olive Green to name a few.

If you have or remember crayons with the names “Prussian Blue” or “Feish”  then your crayon set must date back before 1958 ish.  In 1958 the name “Prussian Blue” was changed to Midnight Blue in response to teacher requests as students no longer recognized that particular shade of dark blue as the color of the Prussian soldiers uniforms.  It is interesting that they name it Prussian Blue to begin with as Prussia was effectively abolished in 1932 and officially abolished in 1947.  “Feish” was changed in 1962 in response to the Civil Rights Movement and in recognition that skin/flesh comes in more than one color.

1958 saw another increase in colors bringing the total to 64.  That year “Indian Red” was introduced but it was renamed in 1999 to Chestnut in response to concerns that children were thinking the color to represent the skin town of the Native American peoples.  The name was actually meant to portray the red-ish brown color that is produced in India to dye fabric and in fine artistic oil paint.

1972 saw the introduction of the florescent colors which were red, yellow, orange, pink, blue and green, prefaced by the word “ultra” as well as Chartreuse and Hot Magenta.  They were given more exciting names in 1990.

Also with renaming the neon colors in 1990, 8 more florescent colors were added.  Also eight colors were retired and replaced, basically they were given better names.  The retired colors were inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 1990.  The world will always look oto the years of Green Blue, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Violet Blue, Maize, Lemon Yellow, Blue Gray, and Raw Umber and remember them with fondness.

Consumers got to name the 16 colors that were added in 1993.  I think these are some of my favorite crayon names.  How can you not love Razzmatazz, Timber Wolf, Robin’s Egg Blue, Tickle Me Pink, Macaroni and Cheese, Granny Smith Apple, Asparagus and Purple Mountain’s Majesty?  And that is only half of the list.  I don’t think crayon naming could get any more American.

More colors were added in 1998 to bring the grand total to 120 crayons.  The naming that year was less exciting, thought Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown is a great name.  2000 was a little lame as far as crayon trivia is concerned.  Thistle was swapped with Indigo and torch res was renamed scarlet.

To mark the 200th birthday of the crayon, Crayola let consumers vote out four from the box and name four new colors. To Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, and Teal Blue, I say thank you for your service you will be missed.  To Inch Worm, Jazzberry Jam, Mango Tango, and Wild Blue Yonder, I say welcome to the team.

That concludes this weeks Trivia Tuesday, tune in next week when I will be discussing a topic not yet decided.  Make sure you color yourself a hand turkey or tofurkey or something festive.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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