Timeline of Crayola

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The following is a partial timeline of Crayola's history. It covers the Crayola brand of marking utensils, as well as the history of Binney & Smith, the company that created the brand and is currently a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards known as Crayola LLC.



  • 1900: The company begins producing slate school pencils in its newly opened Easton, Pennsylvania mill. Their carbon black wins the Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition.
  • 1902: "Binney & Smith Company" is formed September 30, in Easton, Pennsylvania, and serves as general distributor for several carbon black producers, introducing Carbon black to other countries. This also marks their first crayon product, the industry crayon "Staonal" in black. This crayon precedes the Crayola brand by a full year and still exists to this year.
  • 1903: Noticing a need for safe, quality, and affordable wax crayons, the company produces their first boxes of crayons from the No. 30 box containing 30 unwrapped colors to the No. 51 box of 28 wrapped colors to the original No. 54, with eight Crayola crayons containing red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, and black sticks. Their first 8-color assortment sells for a nickel. The Crayola name, coined by Edwin Binney's wife Alice Binney, comes from craie, the French word for chalk, and ola, from oleaginous. All of their original non-Ruben Crayola assortment boxes contain a girl on the back of the boxes; their first attempt at a consistent branding effort. Contrary to all web and printed documentation, the Rubens Crayons for Art Students line was actually introduced right from the beginning in 1903. There is authenticated evidence of this from their 1903/04 "The Art of Crayola Painting" pamphlet and a photo of the Rubens Crayola No. 500 in a 1906 magazine advertisement from Youth's Companion.
  • 1904: Binney & Smith wins the Gold Medal during the April 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Their entry was actually for their An-Du-Septic dustless chalk, but it was the foundation of their "Gold Medal" packaging in which they featured the gold medal on the front of their crayon boxes for the next 50 or so years. Given that this award wasn't given out until April 1904 and Crayola had been selling since August 1903, it is a misconception that the famous box shown on the postage stamp and in numerous other historical articles and web pages is "the" actual first design of their Crayola boxes because the box shown in all of those pictures has that Gold Medal on the front.
  • 1905: Binney redesigns their 8-color assortment to use the famous "Gold Medal" label and design. They also renamed the box to be the No. 8, following and earlier such introduction by the Franklin Mfg. Co. for their Rainbow line of crayons. This first and only Gold Medal box used the Eagle side of the Gold Medal and was the only assortment size to use this side of the medal as it was changed to the other side before they expanded the line to other assortment sizes in 1910. This also marks the year that they introduced Spectra, a pastel crayon line.
  • 1907: Binney & Smith partnered with Milton Bradley to product the Crayola No. 77 assortment box with Milton Bradley printed on the box also.
  • 1908: Binney & Smith partnered with Littlefield Maps to make a special color assortment of their Rubens-Crayola No. 12 box with special Biblical colors pasted on the back to accommodate church work on their Old Testament maps.
  • 1909: Binney & Smith launched their Durel line of pressed crayons
  • 1910: Binney & Smith expand their Gold Medal line to include the debut of their No. 16 box (which also followed an earlier debut of a 16-color assortment by Franklin Mfg. Co.). They also discontinued many of their original boxes in favor of standardizing more to this Gold Medal line.
  • 1911: Binney & Smith launch their Cerola brand of crayons targeted toward the lower end quality but more affordable markets
  • 1912: Binney & Smith's carbon black is first used on tires to make black tires. They also launched their Cerata brand of crayons.
  • 1913: Marks the launch of the Little Folks outfit boxes (Nos. 25 & 50) along with a Picture Tracer box.
  • 1915: The Boston crayon line debuts. This also marks the discontinuation of the No. 101 assortment box that contained Gold, Silver and Copper crayon colors. While Gold and Silver was available as a bulk purchase, these three original colors couldn't be found on a retail assortment box for the next 30 years.
  • 1919: The design of the their Gold Medal boxes is changed to drop the Paris reference. They also launch their No. 88 8-color tins.
  • 1920: Perma Pressed Sharpenable Fine Art Crayons are added to the growing product line, which also includes new Artista brand paints.
  • 1922: Binney & Smith expand their Little Folks outfit concept by introducing a number of Toy Sets with specific themes.Included in the launch are Crayola Color Kit for Kiddies (No. 508), Crayola Crusader Box (No. 503), Crayola Snowbound Color Box (No. 500), Crayola Dream Stories Color Set (No. 501), Crayola Home Run Color Box (No. 503), Crayola Little Boy Blue Paint Box (No. 501), Crayola Color it and Trace it Outfit (No. 502), Crayola Bird-Land Color Set (No. 516), Crayola Chummy Animals Color Set (No. 510), Uncle Wiggily Crayola Color Box (No. 506), Crayola Golden Treasure Color Set (No. 518), Crayola Rob Roy Color Box (No. 513). While attractive and theme driven, they later concluded that the higher cost made these some of their least successful products.
  • 1923: Corporate offices move from 81-83 Fulton St. to 41 East 42nd Street in New York City.
  • 1924: Perma and Tiny Tot crayon lines debut.
  • 1926: Binney & Smith launch their Perma and Crayolet crayon lines. They also begin publishing their bi-monthly art publication “The Drawing Teacher”
  • 1927: Binney & Smith Co. launch the Snookum’s Crayola Color Set No. 25 based on the popular baby actor who died of blood poisoning several years later at the age of 7
  • 1927: Binney & Smith Co. launch the Besco line and redesign their Gold Medal boxes to remove the ornate scrolling
  • 1929: Binney & Smith Co. discontinues all of their Toy Sets and Color Outfits except their Little Folks No. 25 and No. 50.
  • 1930: Binney & Smith Co. launches their Chic’ago line of pastel crayons
  • 1931: C. Harold Smith, co-founder of Binney & Smith Co. dies
  • 1934: Edwin Binney, co-founder of Binney & Smith Co. dies
  • 1936: Binney & Smith becomes a founding member of the Crayon, Watercolor and Craft Institute, promoting product safety in art materials.
  • 1948: To educate art teachers about the many ways to use the growing number of Crayola products, a teacher workshop program begins to offer in-school training across the country. Crayola also first releases its first 48-count box this year.


  • 1952: A Binney & Smith factory in Winfield, Kansas opens to handle the company's growing business.
  • 1953: Binney & Smith Co. moves their headquarters to 380 Madison Ave in New York city.
  • 1955: Binney & Smith incorporates and changes their packaging from "Binney & Smith Co." to "Binney & Smith Inc."
  • 1958: The 64-color assortment of Crayola crayons—with a built-in sharpener—debuts. Prussian blue is changed to midnight blue because of Prussia by then being an extinct country for decades.
  • 1959: The first Crayola TV ads appear during the children's TV show Ding Dong School.
  • 1961: Binney & Smith becomes a publicly held company.
  • 1962: The color "Flesh" is renamed "Peach" completing an odd transition from Flesh-Tint to Flesh to Pink Beige, back to Flesh and finally to Peach.
  • 1963: Binney & Smith becomes a member of the American Stock Exchange on May 1, with the symbol: BYS.
  • 1964: Crayola acquires Permanent Pigments Inc., producers of Liquitex art materials.
  • 1969: The company opens an additional factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, followed five years later by a new corporate headquarters.
  • 1972: Binney & Smith Inc. purchases the Cosmic Crayon Co. in Bedford, UK and uses its facilities for their European operation by making it Binney & Smith (Europe), Ltd.
  • 1972: Binney & Smith adds the Fluorescent colors (renamed later); Ultra Pink (later Shocking Pink), Hot Magenta, Ultra Red (later Wild Watermelon), Ultra Orange (later Outrageous Orange), Ultra Yellow (later Atomic Tangerine), Chartreuse (later Laser Lemon), Ultra Green (later Screamin' Green) and Ultra Blue (later Blizzard Blue).
  • 1972: Binney & Smith Inc. opens their Mexico operations, Binney & Smith Mexicol, S.A.
  • 1975: Fire destroys the Binney & Smith Bedford factory on Aug 10. A new factory was built and operational by Oct.
  • 1976: Binney & Smith corporate headquarters relocate from New York City to Forks Township in Easton, Pennsylvania.
  • 1977: Binney & Smith buys Silly Putty.
  • 1978:
    • Binney & Smith is listed on the New York Stock Exchange on June 19, with the symbol: BYS.
    • Crayola crayons celebrate their 75th anniversary, and Crayola markers are introduced. Craft and activity kits become a vital part of the company's business.
  • 1979: All children's product lines are repackaged to carry the Crayola trade name and all fine art materials are repackaged to carry the Liquitex trade name.
  • 1980: A private distributorship in Australia is purchased to form Binney & Smith (Australia) Pty. Ltd. to market and distribute finished Crayola products.
  • 1984:
  • 1987: Crayola introduces washable markers. Crayola colored pencils also arrive. They also add their 1-800-CRAYOLA toll-free number to all packaging.


  • 1990:
    • Eight crayon colors—Maize, Raw Umber, Lemon Yellow, Blue Gray, Orange Yellow, Orange Red, Green Blue and Violet Blue—are retired into the Crayola Hall of Fame in Easton, Pennsylvania and replaced by Cerulean, Dandelion, Electric Lime, Fuchsia, Jungle Green, Magic Mint (later retired in 2003), Neon Carrot, Purple Pizzazz, Radical Red, Razzle Dazzle Rose, Royal Purple, Sunglow, Unmellow Yellow, Vivid Tangerine, Teal Blue (later retired in 2003), and Wild Strawberry. Crayola also introduces Silver Swirls, a pack of 24 silvery colors.
    • Various colors were renamed: Ultra Yellow was renamed Atomic Tangerine, Ultra Blue was renamed Blizzard Blue, Chartreuse was renamed Laser Lemon, Ultra Orange was renamed Outrageous Orange, Ultra Green was renamed Screamin' Green, Ultra Pink was renamed Shocking Pink, and Ultra Red was renamed Wild Watermelon.
    • Emerson Moser, then Crayola's most senior crayon moulder, retired after 37 years. After moulding approximately 1.4 billion crayons, he revealed that he is actually color blind.[1]
  • 1991: Crayola Washable crayons are introduced.
  • 1992: Crayola introduces Model Magic, a modeling compound, into its long line of products.
  • 1993: Binney & Smith celebrates the Crayola brand's 90th birthday with its biggest crayon box ever; it holds 96 crayons, including 16 new colors. For the first time, the company asks consumers to name the colors through the Crayola Name the New Colors Contest: the winning names include Asparagus, Cerise, Denim, Granny Smith Apple, Macaroni and Cheese, Pacific Blue, Purple Mountain's Majesty, Razzmatazz, Robin's Egg Blue, Shamrock, Tickle Me Pink, Timberwolf, Tropical Rain Forest, Mauvelous, Tumbleweed, and Wisteria. Color Wonder products debuted; Hot Fluorescent crayon boxes (8 and 16) are renamed Neons.
  • 1994: Crayola introduces a scented version of crayons called Magic Scents Crayons and Gem Tones.
  • 1995: Crayola introduces Changeables.
  • 1996:
    • The 100 billionth Crayola crayon rolls off the production line in Easton. The wax for that crayon was poured by Mister Rogers.[2]
    • On July 16, Binney & Smith celebrates the grand opening of The Crayola Factory visitors' center in Easton with the Crayola ColorJam parade.
  • 1997: All Crayola products receive new logo design for the year; the 120 Giant Chest crayon box is introduced with 24 new colors, including Torch Red. Crayola introduces Color Mix-up and Pearl Bite.
  • 1998: The Crayola 64 Box is reintroduced in its original packaging, complete with built-in sharpener. A 1958 Crayola 64 Box becomes part of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
  • 1999: For the third time in Crayola history a crayon is renamed because of social concerns. Indian red becomes "chestnut" because teachers reported that schoolchildren often wrongly perceived the color to be the skin color of Native Americans. The name in fact did not refer to Native Americans, but to a pigment produced in India and used in oil paints. Crayola introduces Crayons with Glitter.
  • 2000: Another crayon color—Thistle—is retired into the Crayola Hall of Fame, totaling 9 retired colors and replaced by newcomer Indigo. Torch Red is renamed Scarlet, Cranberry is renamed Blush, and Brink Pink is renamed Pink Sherbert.
  • 2001: Crayola introduces Metallic FX Crayons.
  • 2002:
    • Crayola introduces Glitter Crayons.
    • Crayola introduces the Crayon Maker.
  • 2003: Four more crayon colors—Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, and Teal Blue—are retired into the Crayola Hall of Fame, totaling 13 retired colors and replaced by Inch Worm, Jazzberry Jam, Mango Tango, and Wild Blue Yonder.
  • 2006: Crayola introduces Heads n' Tails Crayons.
  • 2007: Crayola introduces Silly Scents and True To Life Crayons.
  • 2008: The Crayola 150 Crayon Tower and Gel FX are released on June 4.
  • 2009: Crayola introduces Extreme Twistables Colors.
  • 2011: The Crayola Solar Farm is completed and included more than 30,000 solar panels producing 3 megawatts of electricity. The solar panels generate enough electricity to produce 1 billion crayons and 500 million markers per year.
  • 2013: Crayola introduces the marker maker


  1. ^ "A Colorblind Crayon Maker? Crayola Retiree Says It's True". The Blade. December 6, 1990. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://articles.mcall.com/1996-02-02/news/3080141_1_crayons-binney-smith-crayola-factory