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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 14 – The Consistent Years

 

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, Part 9 - Crayola's Biggest Assortment Secret, Part 10 - War Time Changes, Part 11 - Enter the No. 48, Part 12 - The 50s, Part 13 - The Revolutionary No. 64

 

Expanding on the No. 64

 

By the time Crayola began launching their successful No. 64 in early 1958 they were also working on a larger set box that would ultimately become the No. 72.  They had a prototype in early to mid 1958 that was hand-made and filled with colors from that early part of the year; namely in that it contained a Light Blue still.

 

Crayola No 72 (prototype)

 

By the time they went to market in 1959, they had altered the original design and removed the exterior coloring pad in favor of just putting it inside with the crayons.  Like the No. 64 before, this new product went through some minor design changes before settling on a single design.  The first production one had a small window.

 

Crayola NO 72 (small window)

 

They later expanded that window so that more crayons could be seen from the outside of the box and launched this design in 1960.

 

Crayola No 72 (full window)

 

Though the box included 72 colors, only 64 of the colors were unique.  The other eight colors were simply duplicates of black, red and blue; the colors they believed most children used up first.  As such, there were no color changes during this time….except….

 

Crayola No 72 (full window) inside

 

Was it Intentional?

With this new assortment design introduction in 1959 came one crayon that was spelled different than what was in the earlier prototype No. 72s or any of the No. 64s other than the second variation (or any smaller assortment box):  Golden Rod.

 

Golden Rod comparison

 

For whatever reason, somebody chose to split the color Goldenrod into two distinct words.  Clearly the original naming of this color was based on the color of the Solidago plant found in much of North America and more commonly called goldenrod or goldenrods with its distinct yellow color.  This flower wasn’t referred to using two words though and should clearly have been a mistake on Crayola’s part.  In the end they changed their wrapper design in 1976 and went with a lower case name for all colors and this odd spelling version was gone.

 

Perhaps the biggest mystery of all was why the alternative two word color name could only be found in the No. 72 and not any other assortment or bulk purchase (other than a single appearance in the second No 64 design).  Sixteen years was a long time to have filled a mistake color for a single assortment box; particularly because this box went through several design changes (in 1965 the box changed to a white box with two kids coloring and in 1973 they slapped a sticker onto the boxes and replaced the extra colors with fluorescent colors.)  One would think they would have addressed the color at that time.  The color would even show up again in Europe years later.

For the purposes of our color history, at the end of 1959 we had:

 

GOLDEN ROD was a new named color that shared the same true color as GOLDENROD

 

This increased our overall named color count from 138 to 139 while true colors remained the same at 107.  There was no change to the active count of named and true colors; still at 64.

 

Politically Correct before their Time

 

In 1962 Crayola changed the color Flesh to Peach.  For years (and perhaps even to this day) the story behind the change was that the “name was changed voluntarily in 1962; partially as a result of the Civil Rights Movement.” As fellow Crayola collector and historian John Astolfi put it, “Partially?  So what were the OTHER reasons?  And voluntarily?  Who did they think could have forced them?  Excellent questions and if one were to dig even deeper they’d discover that the Civil Rights Movement hadn’t even gotten organized enough to walk on Washington by 1962 for only then did the “movement” get recognized outside of specific origins in the deep South where it started from.  The other urban legend that has been forever referenced is that this renaming is one of only three colors they ever renamed (the other two official changes being Prussian Blue to Midnight Blue and Indian Red to Chestnut).  Of course, if you’ve been reading this fully researched history than you know that wasn’t true at all.  Perhaps Crayola should put it that there were only three colors ever renamed for social situations. 

 

Poor Flesh.  The color had now gone from Flesh Tint to Flesh to Pink Beige back to Flesh and now to Peach.

 

Flesh Peach comparison

 

For the purposes of our color history, at the end of 1962 we had:

 

FLESH was no longer a named color but its true color was used as PEACH

PEACH was a new named color that got its true color from FLESH

 

This increased our overall named color count from 139 to 140 while true colors remained the same at 107.  There was no change to the active count of named and true colors; still at 64.

 

Nothing else changed for the next ten years so let’s take a look at the color list at the end of 1971:

 

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

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

2

70

Blue

1903

1949

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

3

3

Brown

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Van Dyke Brown

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna

 

5

5

Burnt Umber

1903

1903

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

6

6

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Only found in No. 51 box

6

2

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1944

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Reused color name for orig. 1903 Blue color; only found in No. 52 box

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, Pine 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, Goldenrod

13

13

Cobalt Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Blue; only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon 1935-1943; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

14

14

Copper

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Unavailable between 1915 and 1958

15

15

Dark Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

 

Same color as Prussian Blue, Midnight Blue

16

8

Dark Green

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Green Dark, Pine Green

16

71

Dark Green

1903

1949

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Forest Green 

17

16

English Vermillion

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Eng. Vermillion, Eng. Vermilion

 

18

17

Flesh Tint

1903

1903

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon starting 1935; Same color as Flesh, Pink Beige, Peach; Not available 1944 due to WWII

19

18

Gold

1903

1903

1953

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

1915-1943 only offered in Bulk; Not available 1944-1952 due to WWII

19

84

Gold

1903

1953

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

20

19

Gold Ochre

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Golden Ochre, Maize

21

19

Golden Ochre

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Gold Ochre, Maize

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; Pine 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

 

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

27

38

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

Color name reused starting 1958, Same color as second Light Yellow

28

14

Light Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

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

28

85

Light Blue

1903

1958

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

Only available for a small part of 1958

29

11

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

Yellow Lt.; Lt. Yellow

Same color as Lemon Yellow, second Yellow, Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII;

29

38

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Yellow (true color 38) that it inherited in 1949, second Lemon Yellow

30

22

Madder Lake

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

31

23

Magenta

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Permanent Magenta; Not available 1944 due to WWII

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

1958

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Med. Yellow

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Chrome Yellow, Medium, Goldenrod, Golden Rod; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

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

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

Yes

Prus. Blue

Same color as Dark Blue, Midnight 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

 

 

41

86

Raw Sienna

1903

1958

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

Name revived 48 years after discontinuing it but with a new true color

42

30

Raw Umber

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

43

31

Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

44

27

Rose Pink

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Pink, Carnation Pink

45

32

Silver

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

1915-1943 offered only as bulk; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

46

33

Ultramarine Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

ULT. BLUE; Ult. Blue

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; not available 1949-1957

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

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Ven. Red

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon from 1935-1937 Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

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; 1949-1957 used another true color but reverted back in 1958

51

72

Violet

1903

1949

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

 

 Same color as second Blue Violet

52

37

White

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

53

38

Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow (second one)

53

48

Yellow

1903

1926

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow

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

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

Lt. Green

Same color as Chrome Green, Light; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

55

73

Light Green

1910

1949

1958

Used as other name

 

 

 

 

Same color as Sea Green

56

39

Maximum Black

1926

1926

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

57

40

Maximum Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

58

41

Maximum Blue Green

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Maximum Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Blue Green; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

59

42

Maximum Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

60

43

Maximum Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

61

44

Maximum Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

62

45

Maximum Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

63

46

Maximum Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

64

47

Maximum Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maxmimum Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

65

48

Maximum Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Gamboge Yellow, Yellow (second one); Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

66

49

Maximum Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Yellow Orange; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

67

50

Middle Blue

1926

1926

1949

Used as other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Light Turquoise Blue, same color as Aquamarine

68

51

Middle Blue Green

1926

1926

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

Middle Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII, same color as second Blue Green

69

52

Middle Grey

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Neutral Gray, Gray; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

70

53

Middle Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

71

54

Middle Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

72

55

Middle Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

73

56

Middle Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

74

57

Middle Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

75

58

Middle Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

76

59

Middle Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

77

60

Middle Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Medium Orange

78

40

Blue Green

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Blue-Green

Same color as Maximum Blue

78

51

Blue Green

1930

1926

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Middle Blue Green

79

62

Blue Violet

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Blue-Violet

Same color as Violet Blue

79

72

Blue Violet

1930

1949

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as second Violet

80

52

Neutral Gray

1930

1926

1956

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

Neutral-Gray

Same color as Middle Grey, Gray

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

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Yellow-Orange

Same color as Maximum Yellow Red

84

87

Yellow Orange

1930

1958

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

85

67

Carmine

1935

1935

1949

Used as other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Carmine Red

86

68

Sepia

1935

1935

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII, discontinued from 1949-1957

87

69

Turquoise Blue

1935

1935

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

88

48

Gamboge Yellow

1941

1903

1944

Used as Other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow; used only on hex; color name dropped during WWII shortage even though yellow was still available

89

2

Azure Blue

1949

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

Color inherited from second Celestial Blue

90

74

Brilliant Rose

1949

1949

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

 Not available from 1956-1957, only available for the early part of 1958

91

66

Carmine Red

1949

1935

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Carmine

92

75

Cerulean Blue

1949

1949

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

 

93

76

Dark Red

1949

1949

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Maroon

94

17

Flesh

1949

1903

1962

Used as Other Name

Yes

 

 

 

Renamed from 1956-1957 and then brought back in 1958, Same color as Flesh Tint, Pink Beige, Peach

95

77

Lavender

1949

1949

 

 

Yes