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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 30 – Retro

 

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, Part 14 - The Consistent Years, Part 15 - Specialty Crayons, Part 16 - Fun Alternative Color Names, Part 17 - Heavy Metal, Part 18 - More So Big, Part 19 - Decade of Experimentation, Part 20 - Dawn of the Color Naming Contest, Part 21 - Contest Winners and more Specialty Crayons. Part 22 - Magic and Mystery, Part 23 - One Hundred Billion, Part 24 - Entertainment Revolution, Part 25 - True Blue Heroes, Part 26 - The Discovery Series, Part 27 - Smells like a Second Try, Part 28 - More Specialty Changes for 1997, Part 29 - True Blues get their Color Names

 

Compared with the last few years, 1999 was fairly quiet.  Crayola introduced only a couple of new specialty sets and theme assortments; only one of which had any impact on their color history.  There were a number of sets discontinued during this year though.

 

Retro

 

The one theme assortment with new color names introduced during this year was the Retro assortment.  This was a 16-color assortment box with a 60s hippy movement theme associated with it.  The colors were:  avocado green, bell bottom blue, bug yellow, cosmic black, flower power pink, give peach a chance, mellow yellow, organic orange,  peace dove white, platform shoe brown, psychedelic purple, shades of black, shag carpet orange, tambourine green, tye-dye lime, woodstock mud

 

Retro Colors Crayons.jpgHere’s how the colors were assigned:

Crayola Retro Colors - 16 colors.jpg

avocado green - asparagus

bell bottom blue - blue

bug yellow - dandelion

cosmic black - black

flower power pinkwild water melon

give peach a chance - peach

mellow yellowyellow orange

organic orangevivid tangerine

peace dove white - white

platform shoe brownbrick red

psychedelic purpleviolet (purple)

shades of black - black

shag carpet orange - scarlet

tambourine greenforest green

tye-dye limegreen yellow

woodstock mud - brown

 

The most unusual choice in colors was the inclusion of two crayons using black as their true color.  With all of the colors in their palate one would think they could have found another color to include.  Nevertheless they’re fun color names.

 

Another Official Change

 

Crayola only references three official color name changes.  There was the urban myth behind changing Flesh to Peach in 1962, there was the real change from Prussian Blue to Midnight Blue and then there was the 1999 change of Indian Red to Chestnut.  Apparently consumers were confusing the term “Indian” as referencing Native Americans when in fact the color references a source pigment plant in India.  Rather than simply change it to “India Red” or something like that, they eliminated all the controversy by changing it to Chestnut.

 

Indian Red Chestnut crayons.jpg

 

There was also a swap out of colors in their core line up that didn’t get any publicity but is referenced on their web site chronology.  Thistle was replaced by Indigo.  Indigo was a brand new color name and true color.

 

Thistle Indigo crayons.jpg

 

It’s odd that they would replace one color with an entirely different color without any fanfare.  After all, Thistle had been around since the origin of the No 64 box when they took Light Magenta and renamed it to Thistle.  I guess some colors get full retirement but some colors just fade away.

 

And then they were gone

 

1999 saw several specialty lines disappear.  Pearl Brite, Star Brite, Techno Brite, Pooh, Color ‘n Smell, Glitter (as multi-colored), Glow in the Dark, Color Mix-Up, the Crayola Presents, Kid’s First Washable and Color Slicks all ended their runs.  This impacted the color line because all of the named colors from these assortments were unique and so we lost a lot of active named and true colors.  In the case of Glitter, they simply moved to a wrapper that didn’t indicate the name of the color anymore.  Technically they’re gone from the named list but not from the true color list as these would be used time and again to fill large assortments in the future.

 

For the color history, here were the changes from 1999:

 

aqua pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

avocado green was a new color name but its true color came from asparagus

baby's blanket was discontinued as a color name and true color

baby's powder was discontinued as a color name

baseball mitt was discontinued as a color name

bell bottom blue was a new color name but its true color came from blue

black coral pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

black with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

blazing bonfire was discontinued as a color name and true color

blue green with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

blue with shimmering silver glitter was discontinued as a color name

Blustery Blue was discontinued as a color name

bubble bath was discontinued as a color name

bug yellow was a new color name but its true color came from dandelion

Bullfrog Green was discontinued as a color name

caribbean green pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

carnation pink with lavender glitter was discontinued as a color name

Cheesy Yellow was discontinued as a color name

chestnut was a new color name but its true color came from indian red

circuit board green was discontinued as a color name

cool and crazy was discontinued as a color name and true color

cosmic black was a new color name but its true color came from black

cultured pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

cyber space orange was discontinued as a color name

earthworm was discontinued as a color name

floppy yellow was discontinued as a color name

flower power pink was a new color name but its true color came from wild water melon

flower shop was discontinued as a color name

fresh air was discontinued as a color name

Giselle’s Pink Dress was discontinued as a color name

give peach a chance was a new color name but its true color came from peach

glows orange (3) was discontinued as a color name and true color

glows yellow was discontinued as a color name and true color

grandma's perfume was discontinued as a color name

grape juice purple was discontinued as a color name

graphic green was discontinued as a color name

green with twinkling turquoise glitter was discontinued as a color name

green.com was discontinued as a color name

Hedgehog Pink was discontinued as a color name

Hetty the Duck Blue was discontinued as a color name

Huggable Bear Orange was discontinued as a color name

indian red was discontinued as a color name but its true color got renamed to chestnut

indigo was a new color name and true color

infra red was discontinued as a color name

key lime pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

koala tree was discontinued as a color name

lemon lime zing was discontinued as a color name and true color

magenta mix-up was discontinued as a color name and true color

mandarin pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

maroon with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

Martin the Mouse Gray was discontinued as a color name

megabyte blue was discontinued as a color name

megahertz maroon was discontinued as a color name

mellow yellow was a new color name but its true color came from yellow orange

midnight pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

mixed veggies was discontinued as a color name and true color

Mole Blue was discontinued as a color name

Mole’s Green Boots was discontinued as a color name

Mouse Brown was discontinued as a color name

mystic pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

new sneakers was discontinued as a color name

ocean blue pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

ocean green pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

off-road was discontinued as a color name and true color

on-line orange was discontinued as a color name

orange with twinkling turquoise glitter was discontinued as a color name

orchid pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

orchid with twinkling turquoise glitter was discontinued as a color name

organic orange was a new color name but its true color came from vivid tangerine

Overalls Blue was discontinued as a color name

peace dove white was a new color name but its true color came from white

peaches 'n cream was discontinued as a color name and true color

pet shop was discontinued as a color name

pine tree was discontinued as a color name

platform shoe brown was a new color name but its true color came from brick red

plug & play pink was discontinued as a color name

point & click green was discontinued as a color name

Pouncy Purple was discontinued as a color name

psychedelic purple was a new color name but its true color came from violet (purple)

pumpkin purple was discontinued as a color name

rainforest was discontinued as a color name and true color

Red Balloon was discontinued as a color name

red violet with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

red with shimmering silver glitter was discontinued as a color name

rose pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

royal purple with ruby red glitter was discontinued as a color name

salmon pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

saw dust was discontinued as a color name

school bus yellow was discontinued as a color name and true color

Scruffy Pink was discontinued as a color name

shades of black was a new color name but its true color came from black

shag carpet orange was a new color name but its true color came from scarlet

sharpening pencils was discontinued as a color name

shrimp cocktail was discontinued as a color name and true color

sky blue with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

smell the roses was discontinued as a color name

southwest was discontinued as a color name and true color

Springtime Meadow Green was discontinued as a color name

star spangled banner was discontinued as a color name and true color

stonewashed was discontinued as a color name and true color

Storm Cloud Black was discontinued as a color name

Sunshiny Yellow was discontinued as a color name

sunny day was discontinued as a color name

sunny pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

sunset pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

surf's up was discontinued as a color name and true color

tambourine green was a new color name but its true color came from forest green

thistle was discontinued as a color name and true color

transistor yellow was discontinued as a color name

turquoise pearl was discontinued as a color name and true color

twister was discontinued as a color name and true color

tye-dye lime was a new color name but its true color came from green yellow

Ugly Duckling Gray was discontinued as a color name

ultra violet was discontinued as a color name

warm and fuzzy was discontinued as a color name and true color

web surfin' blue was discontinued as a color name

wash the dog was discontinued as a color name

white with confetti glitter was discontinued as a color name

white with glitzy gold glitter was discontinued as a color name

Whoo Brown was discontinued as a color name

woodstock mud was a new color name but its true color came from brown

world wide web yellow was discontinued as a color name

www.purple was discontinued as a color name

yellow green with silver glitter was discontinued as a color name

yellow with rainbow glitter was discontinued as a color name

 

This did increase our overall named color count from 487 to 505 and the true color count increased from 300 to 301.  Active named colors dropped significantly from 231 to 142 and active true colors dropped from 166 to 130. 

 

Let’s take a look at the color list at the end of 1999:

 

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

Yes

 

Same color as Kitty Cat Black, Leather Jacket, Licorice, Black Hole, Muscle Shell Black (Black), New Sneakers, Starry Night, Storm Cloud Black, Cosmic Black, Shades of Black

1

125

Black

1903

1980

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

1

212

Black

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set, same color as Black with glitzy gold glitter

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

Yes

 

 

Same color as Birdie Blue, Blueberry, New Car, Blustery Blue, Deep Sea, Galaxy Blue, Hetty the Duck Blue, Mole Blue, Overalls Blue, Bell-Bottom Blue

2

213

Blue

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as Blue with shimmering silver glitter

2

117

Blue

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

3

3

Brown

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Van Dyke Brown, Bunny Brown, Chocolate, Mouse Brown, Asteroid Brown, Ocean Floor (Brown), Pet Shop, Whoo Brown, Woodstock Mud

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna

Same color as Baseball Mitt

4

118

Burnt Sienna

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

bt. sienna

Part of the Fabric specialty set

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

 

Yes

 

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

13

126

Cobalt Blue

1903

1987

1992

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

14

14

Copper

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Unavailable between 1915 and 1958

14

127

Copper

1903

1987

1992

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set, same color as Copper Penny (Silver Swirls set)

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, Grass 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

Yes

 

 

Same color as Galatic Gold. Sunken Treasure

19

128

Gold

1903

1987

1992

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

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

 

Same color as Leap Frog Green, Bullfrog Green, Graphic Green, Martian Green (Green), Mole’s Green Boots, Sea Sperpent Green (Green)

22

119

Green

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

22

214

Green

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as Green with twinkling turquoise glitter

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

1999

Used as other name

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ind. Red

 Same color as Chestunut

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

Yes

 

 

Color name reused starting 1958, Same color as second Light Yellow, Fire Fly Yellow.  Color was retired in 1990 but reused in Europe starting in 1997.

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

28

120

Light Blue

1903

1976

1980

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

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, Fire Fly Yellow

30

22

Madder Lake

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

31

23

Magenta

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

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

Yes

 

 

35

25

Orange

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Jack “O” Lantern Orange, Tulip, Cyberspace Orange, Grandma’s Perfume, Huggable Bear Orange, Jupiter Orange, Shrimp (Orange), Solar Flare (Orange)

35

121

Orange

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

35

215

Orange

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as Orange with twinkling turquoise glitter

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

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Name not used from 1917-1990 then used from Mexico; same color as Rose Pink, Flamingo Pink, Carnation Pink, Shampoo

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

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Name not used from 1914-1990 then used from Mexico; Same color as Violet

41

29

Raw Sienna

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

41

86

Raw Sienna

1903

1958

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

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

42

30

Raw Umber

1903

1903

1990

Officially Retired

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

43

31

Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Candy Apple Red, Rose, Lobster Red (Red, Mercury Red (Red), Red Balloon, Smell the Roses, Scarlet Red

43

122

Red

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

43

216

Red

1903

1993

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as Red with shimmering silver glitter

44

27

Rose Pink

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Pink, Carnation Pink, Flamingo Pink, Shampoo

45

32

Silver

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

1915-1943 offered only as bulk; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; same color as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

45

129

Silver

1903

1987

1992

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

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

Yes

Violet (Purple) 

Same color as Purple, Bunch of Grapes Purple; 1949-1957 used another true color but reverted back in 1958, same color as Grape, Jellyfish Purple (Violet), Pouncy Purple, Venus Violet (purple), www.purple, Psychedelic Purple

51

72

Violet

1903

1949

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Name only used in Mexico with the same color as Blue Violet.  This was used as Violet in the USA from 1949 to 1958 before Violet revered back to its original true color.

51

123

Violet

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

51

217

Violet

1958

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set

52

37

White

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Baby Powder, Coconut, Baby’s Powder, Space Shuttle White, Peace Dove White

52

218

White

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as White with glitzy gold glitter

53

38

Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow (second one)

53

48

Yellow

1903

1926

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow, Sunshine Yellow, Daffodil, Lemon, Starlight Yellow (Yellow), Sunfish Yellow (Yellow), Sunny Day, Sunshiny Yellow, World Wide Web Yellow

53

124

Yellow

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

53

219

Yellow

1903

1993

1994

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Glitter specialty set; same color as Yellow with rainbow glitter

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

Yes

 

 

 

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