Following the huge success of Drew Daywalt’s Crayon book series, Vectorbomb’s Crayon T-shirt has been a perennial favourite for World Book Day. The popular children's books follow the adventures of a little boy called Duncan and his outspoken box of crayons. However, the world of crayon fact is just as fascinating as fiction, check out the colourful history of the humble crayon.
Big Blue is the World's Largest Crayon, weighing in at 1,500 lb and measuring 16 inches in diameter and 15-foot-long. It was made by Crayola in 2003 as part of its 100 year anniversary celebration from the leftover crayon bits sent in by children across the United States. These little stubs are actually called "Leftolas”.
Crayons are one of the most common things kids will stick up their noses, coming in at number six in a survey. Other popular toddler nasal inserts include raisins, marbles and cheerios
Smells like Green Spirit
Crayons have an instantly recognisable smell, a Yale University study found that it was one of the top most recognizable scents to American adults. The distinctive odour is a result of stearic acid, a derivative of beef fat, added to the batch to give the crayon it's waxy consistency. Smelling a crayon will transport most adults back to the halcyon days of their childhood and crap drawings that parents felt obliged to stick to the fridge door.
What's the The Rarest Crayon?
No it's not Rocking Horse Poop Brown. In edition to Big Blue, Crayola has released two other very special crayon editions. In 2006 Oprah Winfrey invited Sally Putnam Chapman, a relative of Crayola founder Edwin Binney, on her show. Not wishing to come empty-handed, Chapman gave Winfrey a 64-count box of an exclusive, one-time-only Crayola variation: "The Color Purple."
In 2009 Crayola marked the 40th anniversary of the Very Hungry Caterpillar by presenting author and artist Eric Carle with a 5-foot-tall crayon, in the colour they named Very Hungry Caterpillar Green.
All the Colours Of the Rainbow (and then some!)
The total number of colours in the Crayola palette reached 120 by 1998. Since 1998, new colours have been added, but always replacing existing colours. In all, 50 colours have been retired, bringing the total number of regular colours produced to 170 not including specialty crayons like the Metallic FX, Gel FX and the glitter crayons.
Rhapsody in Blue
A 2001 poll of 25,000 consumers revealed that we love with the colour blue. We like it so much that the top ten favourite crayons included these six shades of blue: cerulean, midnight blue, aquamarine, periwinkle, denim and blizzard blue.
The word "crayon" dates to 1644, coming from the French word craie (chalk) and the Latin word creta (Earth).
In 2000 there was a concern about potential contamination of asbestos in many popular brands of crayons following an investigation by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In a follow-up study, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found traces of asbestos fibers in three crayons and larger amounts of transitional fibers which had been misinterpreted as asbestos as a result of using talc as a binding agent. They declared risk to be low and further tests have shown the risk to be insignificant.
The Leader of the Pack
Crayola’s products are marketed and sold in over 80 countries and the Crayola brand has 99% name recognition in U.S. consumer households.