Chrome yellow

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For the novel by Aldous Huxley, see Crome Yellow.
Chrome yellow
Piper J-3 Cub in chrome yellow standard color

Chrome Yellow is a natural yellow pigment made of lead(II) chromate (PbCrO4). It was first extracted from the mineral crocoite by the French chemist Louis Vauquelin in 1797.

Because the pigment tends to oxidize and darken on exposure to air over time, and it contains lead, a toxic, heavy metal, it was originally replaced by another pigment, Cadmium Yellow (mixed with enough Cadmium Orange to produce a color equivalent to chrome yellow).[1]

Chrome yellow had been commonly produced by mixing solutions of lead nitrate and potassium chromate and filtering off the lead chromate precipitate.

American school bus, painted in traditional Chrome yellow[2]

The first recorded use of chrome yellow as a color name in English was in 1818.[3]

The Piper J-3 Cub aircraft had chrome yellow as its standard overall color, usually called "Cub Yellow" or "Lock Haven Yellow" in aviation circles, from the Piper factory that existed in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where it was made in the 1930s and during World War II.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gettens, Rutherford John; Stout, George Leslie (1966). "Painting Materials: A Short Encyclopaedia". Courier Dover Publications. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-486-21597-6.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Worobec, Mary Devine; Hogue, Cheryl (1992). Toxic Substances Controls Guide: Federal Regulation of Chemicals in the Environment. BNA Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-87179-752-0. 
  3. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 192; Color Sample of Chrome Yellow: Page 43 Plate 10 Color Sample L4