ccheader.tif

homesmall.tifcrayolasmall.tifcompaniessmall.tifarticlessmall.tif

The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 9 – Crayola’s Biggest Assortment Secret

This is a multi-part series of articles written to tell the tale of the history of color names for Crayola. 

You can visit earlier parts here: Part 1 - In the Beginning there was..., Part 2 - The Original Color Line Up, Part 3 - Other Color Names, Part 4 - The Gold Medal Changeover, Part 5 - Dwindling Down, Part 6 - Changes in the Roaring 20s, Part 7 - Crayola Color Wheel, Part 8 - New Assortments Equals New Color Changes

 

The No. 52

No 52 Open.jpg

No 52 front.jpgIn 1939, with little fanfare and not a lot of recognition, Crayola put out their largest assort in their history.  The box was simply named No. 52 and even that designation could only be found stamped at the top of the box.  Inside the box though were 52 different colors; nearly all of the 61 true colors in use.

 

The box was similar to their bulk boxes where the lid lifted off except in this case the box stood up on end not flat and when the lid was lifted off the crayons are standing up as in the case of the Rubens No. 18 and 24 boxes and the new No. 24.  This was a heavy construction box and contained four rows of thirteen colored crayons inside.

 

This assortment also debuted at a time when Crayola was again moving from one wrapper design to another.  The earlier type 3 design faded out in 1932 and as they moved to their scalloped design they also switched their color wheel colors to a variation that standardized on upper case lettering.  They weren’t very consistent with their standards though as this particular assortment mixed box label variations of both of the wrapper types.

 

Type 4 crayons.jpg

 

The colors inside the No. 52 consisted of:

 

Type 4a (Name above the scallop logo):  Carmine, Celestial Blue, Cobalt Blue, Flesh Tint, Ind. Red, Magenta, Maximum Blue, Maximum Blue-Green, Maximum Green, Maximum Green-Yellow, Maximum Purple, Maximum Purple-Blue, Maximum Red, Maximum Red-Purple, Maximum Yellow, Maximum Yellow-Red, Med. Yellow, Middle Blue, Middle Green, Middle Green-Yellow, Middle Purple, Middle Purple-Blue, Middle Red, Middle Red-Purple, Middle Yellow, Middle Yellow-Red, Sepia, Ven. Red

 

Type 4b (Name inside the scallop logo):  BLACK, BLUE, BLUE-GREEN, BLUE-VIOLET, BROWN, BURNT-SIENNA, DARK GREEN, GOLD OCHRE, GREEN, MIDDLE BLUE-GREEN, NEUTRAL-GRAY, OLIVE GREEN, ORANGE, PRUSSIAN BLUE, RED, RED-ORANGE, RED-VIOLET, ROSE PINK, TURQUOISE BLUE, VIOLET, WHITE, YELLOW, YELLOW-GREEN, YELLOW-ORANGE

 

52p1.jpg

 

52p2.jpg

 

New 1939 Color Wheel.jpgIn terms of color changes though, this gigantic assortment, while convenient for coloring and for collectors years later, only offered a couple of minor impacts to their color line up.

 

Carmine and Turquoise Blue became available in an assortment with a wrapper and name for the first time.

Sepia became available for the first time other than ordering in bulk.

 

One has to wonder why they chose 52 colors for the assortment.  They had been offering Gold and Silver in bulk for years but never through an assortment.  One would have thought that was the perfect opportunity to add these colors too.  Other than their three initial metallic colors Gold, Silver and Copper (which truly disappeared back in 1915 because unlike the other two it wasn’t offered as a bulk color) they could have included Light Green, Light Yellow, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber).  They were all active at the time and anyway, they did use Med. Yellow. 

 

The No. 99 line also ended during this time and it did have a color impact:

 

Medium Green was discontinued with the elimination of the No. 99 line; the last place the color was found.

 

So, we add another entry to Crayola’s largest assortment list:

1903 – 1910, 30 colors (compliments of the No. 30)

1911 – 1934, 24 colors (compliments of the Rubens-Crayola No. 24)

1935 – 1938, 32 colors (compliments of the No. 332)

1939 – 1957, 52 colors (compliments of the No. 52)

 

Another Color standardization Crayola embarked on in 1939 was the adoption of another color wheel to augment the existing color wheel they inherited when they bought the rights to the Munsell color line.  This new color wheel represented 12 of their other colors.  Using their basic Blue, Violet, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green colors, they then proceeded to systemize all of the new colors they introduced back in 1930.  Of course, even these two combinations don’t fully address their entire line as even the newest introductions such as Carmine aren’t addressed in their color wheel world.

 

Let’s look at the 1939 Color List:

 

Named
Color #

True
Color #


Color Name

Year

Named

True Color

Year

End

Date


End Reason

All

UC

All

LC

Mix

UC/LC


Other Name Variations on Wrapper


Notes

1

1

Black

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

2

2

Blue

1903

1903

1935

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

True color renamed to Celestial Blue

2

66

Blue

1903

1935

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

3

3

Brown

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Van Dyke Brown

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna

 

5

5

Burnt Umber

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

6

6

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Only found in No. 51 box

6

2

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Reused color name for orig. 1903 Blue color

7

7

Charcoal Gray

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Charc Gray

 

8

8

Chrome Green, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green DK, Ch. Green Dk.

Same color as Green, Dark; Dark Green

9

9

Chrome Green, Light

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

Chr Green L, CHR. GREEN L, Chr Green Lt.

Same color as Green, Light

10

10

Chrome Green, Medium

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green M

Same color as Green, Medium; Medium Green

11

11

Chrome Yellow, Light

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow

12

12

Chrome Yellow, Medium

1903

1903

1935

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr Yellow Med.

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow

13

13

Cobalt Blue

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Blue; only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon starting 1935

14

14

Copper

1903

1903

1915

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

15

15

Dark Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

 

Same color as Prussian Blue

16

8

Dark Green

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Green Dark; Chrome Green, Dark

17

16

English Vermillion

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Eng. Vermillion, Eng. Vermilion

 

18

17

Flesh Tint

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon starting 1935

19

18

Gold

1903

1903

1915

Only offered as bulk

 

 

Yes

 

 

20

19

Gold Ochre

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Golden Ochre

21

19

Golden Ochre

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Gold Ochre

22

20

Green

1903

1903

1930

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

22

61

Green

1903

1930

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

23

8

Green, Dark

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Dark; Dark Green

24

9

Green, Light

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Light

25

10

Green, Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

Yes

 

 No

Green, Med.,

Same color as Chrome Green, Medium; Medium Green

26

21

Indian Red

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

Ind. Red

 

27

11

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow.  Only found in No. 51 box

28

14

Light Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Cobalt Blue.   Made exclusively for E.C. Charlton Stores

29

11

Light Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yellow Lt.; Lt. Yellow

Same color as Lemon Yellow

30

22

Madder Lake

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

31

23

Magenta

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Permanent Magenta

32

10

Medium Green

1903

1903

1939

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Med. Green

Same color as Green, Medium; Chrome Green, Medium; 1935-1939 only avail in long crayon size in No. 99

33

12

Medium Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

Med. Yellow

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Chrome Yellow, Medium

34

24

Olive Green

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

35

25

Orange

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

36

26

Permanent Geranium Lake

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

37

23

Permanent Magenta

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Magenta

38

27

Pink

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Rose Pink

49

15

Prussian Blue

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Prus. Blue

Same color as Dark Blue

40

28

Purple

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Violet

41

29

Raw Sienna

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

42

30

Raw Umber

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

43

31

Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

44

27

Rose Pink

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Pink

45

32

Silver

1903

1903

1915

Only offered as bulk

 

 

Yes

 

 

46

33

Ultramarine Blue

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

ULT. BLUE; Ult. Blue

 

47

3

Van Dyke Brown

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Brown.  Only found in No. 51 box

48

34

Venetian Red

1903

1903

 

 

 

 

Yes

Ven. Red

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon from 1935-1937

49

35

Venetian Red, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

50

36

Venetian Red, Light

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

51

28

Violet

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Purple

52

37

White

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

53

38

Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

54

12

Yellow Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow

55

9

Light Green

1910

1910

 

 

 

 

Yes

Lt. Green

Same color as Chrome Green, Light

56

39

Maximum Black

1926

1926

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

57

40

Maximum Blue

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Blue Green

58

41

Maximum Blue Green

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Maximum Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

59

42

Maximum Green

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

60

43

Maximum Green Yellow

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Maximum Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

61

44

Maximum Purple

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

62

45

Maximum Purple Blue

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Maximum Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

63

46

Maximum Red

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

64

47

Maximum Red Purple

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Maxmimum Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

65

48

Maximum Yellow

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

66

49

Maximum Yellow Red

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Yellow Orange

67

50

Middle Blue

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

68

51

Middle Blue Green

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

69

52

Middle Gray

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Neutral Gray

70

53

Middle Green

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

71

54

Middle Green Yellow

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

72

55

Middle Purple

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

73

56

Middle Purple Blue

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

74

57

Middle Red

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

75

58

Middle Red Purple

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

76

59

Middle Yellow

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

77

60

Middle Yellow Red

1926

1926

 

 

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

78

40

Blue Green

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Blue-Green

Same color as Maximum Blue

79

62

Blue Violet

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Blue-Violet

 

80

52

Neutral Gray

1930

1926

 

 

Yes

 

 

Neutral-Gray

Same color as Middle Grey

81

63

Red Orange

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Red-Orange

 

82

64

Red Violet

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Red-Violet

 

83

65

Yellow Green

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Yellow-Green

 

84

49

Yellow Orange

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

 

 

Yellow-Orange

Same color as Maximum Yellow Red

85

67

Carmine

1935

1935

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

86

68

Sepia

1935

1935

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

87

69

Turquoise Blue

1935

1935

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

 

And all of this leaves the counts as:

Named Colors still in use:  Is down 61 to 60

True Colors still in use:  Is down from 58 to 57

Our overall count is at 87 named crayons and 69 true colors ever used up to this point in time.

 

Next up:  Part 10 - War Time Changes