Wax Crayons - History of Wax Crayons

Wax Crayons

We learn to use crayons when we are very young. Crayons are wax sticks that are used for drawing. They come in many colors. You can buy a box of 8 colors-red, blue, yellow, green, brown, black, white, and purple. You can also buy a box with as many as 100 colors!

Wax crayons were invented by the Crayola company. It was formed in 1864, but it was not called Crayola. The company was founded by Joseph Binney, and then his son Edwin Binney and nephew Harold Smith join. The company made many different products used for painting and drawing. They made pencils for school children, and they created "dustless chalk" for school teachers in 1902.

In 1903, the company saw a need for school children to have safe, affordable wax crayons. One of the first packages was sold in 1903. It had 8 colors. Alice, the wife of Edwin Binney came up with the name Crayola. The French word for color is "craie." These wax crayons had color, and they were also slick. The word "oleaginous" means slick or oily. So, the wax crayons were called Crayold-slick, oily colors.

Today, school children still use Crayons. In fact, most school supply lists for young children list Crayons as a necessary supply. Crayons are safe for children to use. Teachers also like them because they are much less messy than chalks, paints, or watercolors. Before crayons were invented, children colored with watercolors, paints, or even chalk and charcoal! There are probably many teachers who are very happy that Binney and Smith created Crayola crayons all those years ago!

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