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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Introduction and Table of Contents

 

This is a 40 part feature that steps through Crayolas color history from 1903 up to the current day.  This is copyrighted original research done by me, Ed Welter, over the course of the last 10 years.  It took about 10 months to put the chronology together with the help of several other collectors and Crayola enthusiasts which I mention in the first part.  Im not affiliated with Crayola in any way and Ive tried to keep it to a neutral perspective.  Much of the reference material consists of my own collection and previously researched material at the National Archives, Google Books along with various advertisements, catalogues and price lists I have accumulated.

 

Each part has a link at the top to all the prior parts and a link at the bottom to the next part.

 

Title/Link

Years

Features

Part 1 - In the Beginning there was...

1903-1905

Color data, Original assortments

Part 2 - The Original Color Line Up

1903-1905

The original 38 colors and what they came in

Part 3 - Other Color Names

1903-1905

Variations and rules for the list, Color swatches

Part 4 - The Gold Medal Changeover

1904-1910

St. Louis World Fair, Gold Medal Line, the first list

Part 5 - Dwindling Down

1911-1917

The first colors discontinued

Part 6 - Changes in the Roaring 20s

1918-1926

New wrapper type, Munsell acquisition, 1926 color swatches

Part 7 - Crayola Color Wheel

1927-1930

New colors for the color wheel, color swatch comparisons

Part 8 - New Assortments Equals New Color Changes

1931-1935

New wrapper type 4, Rubens changes, No 241M colors, color swatches

Part 9 - Crayola's Biggest Assortment Secret

1936-1939

No 52 assortment

Part 10 - War Time Changes

1940-1944

Gamboge Yellow, WWII color source shortage

Part 11 - Enter the No. 48

1945-1949

No 48 assortment, color swatches

Part 12 - The 50s

1950-1957

Pink Beige, Color swatch comparison

Part 13 - The Revolutionary No. 64

1958

No 64 assortment, color swatches

Part 14 - The Consistent Years

1959-1971

No 72 assortment, Golden Rod, Flesh to Peach

Part 15 - Specialty Crayons

1972-1982

Fluorescent crayons, Fabric crayons

Part 16 - Fun Alternative Color Names

1983-1986

So Big crayons

Part 17 - Heavy Metal

1987

Canadian Crayola Metallics and Crayola Gemtone

Part 18 - More So Big

1988-1989

So Big (blue) crayons

Part 19 - Decade of Experimentation

1990-1991

Official color retirement, new colors, Silver Swirl crayons, European Fluorescents, Mexican colors. Crayon swatches

Part 20 - Dawn of the Color Naming Contest

1992

Name that Color Contest

Part 21 - Contest Winners and more Specialty Crayons

1993

New colors, Gemtones crayons, Glitter crayons

Part 22 - Magic and Mystery

1994-1995

Magic Scent crayons, Changeables crayons, Glitter, Glow in the Dark, Neons

Part 23 - One Hundred Billion

1996

Mr. Rogers one hundred billion commemoration

Part 24 - Entertainment Revolution

1997

Hallmark Presents

Part 25 - True Blue Heroes

1997

True Blue Heroes Contest

Part 26 - The Discovery Series

1997

Discovery crayons

Part 27 - Smells like a Second Try

1997

Color n Smell, Starbrite, Techobrite, Pooh crayons

Part 28 - More Specialty Changes for 1997

1997

Glitter, Pearl Brite, Color Mix-Up, Special Brightest, Kids First, Mac & Cheese, Timberwolf, International differences

Part 29 - True Blues get their Color Names

1998

True Blue colors, Torch Red, 200 colors, Scarlet Pimpernel, Construction

Part 30 - Retro

1999

Retro crayons, Chestnut, Indigo crayons

Part 31 - The New Millennium

2000-2001

Favorite colors of Canada, Americas Favorites, GelFX, MetallicFX, Halloween, Outer Space, Philadelphia 76ers & Eagles crayons

Part 32 - Regional Colors

2002

Colors of Baltimore, Colors of Washington crayons

Part 33 - 100 Year Birthday

2003

Colors of Binney & Smith, 100th Anniversary, More retirements, C-Rex, Macaroni Grill, Chilis, Dole 5-A-Day, Bedford UK production end

Part 34 - Superhero Invasion

2004

Spiderman, State your Own, White House crayons, Target Red crayons

Part 35 - Tri-Lingual

2005

Batman, Tri-Language, Purple Mountain Majesty, Pink Sherbert & Blush, Fuzzy Wuzzy crayons

Part 36 - High Tech Crayons

2006

Heads n Tails, Colors of Ecomagination, Silly Scents crayons

Part 37 - True to Life

2007

True to Life crayons

Part 38 - Kids' Choice

2008

50th Anniversary of the No 58 assortment, Kids Choice, Giant Coloring Page

Part 39 - Extreme

2009

Twistable Extreme colors, Colors of Lindt, Very Hungry Catarpillar

Part 40 - Fan Favorite

2010-2011

Fan Favorite, Carbon Black   

Part 41 - 110th Anniversary

2012-2013

Anpanman, 110th Anniversary   

 

Reference

 

The Full Color List:

 

Alphabetical by Color Name

In order of Introduction by year