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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 43 - Early Retirement

 

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, Part 30 - Retro, Part 31 - The New Millennium, Part 32 - Regional Colors, Part 33 - 100 Year Birthday, Part 34 - Superhero Invasion, Part 35 - Tri-Lingual, Part 36 - High Tech Crayons, Part 37 - True to Life, Part 38 - Kids' Choice, Part 39 - Extreme; Part 40 - Fan Favorite, Part 41- 110th Anniversary, Part 42 - Technology Interaction

 

As in 2014/2015, 2016/2017 contued with a never ending flood of theme'd Crayola boxes designed for various retailers (mostly Target and Walmart).  In 2017 they redesigned the "Pick your Pack" series but these don't have new colors. 

Crayola Aero Fetch - 16 colors.jpgCrayola Disney Doc McStuffins (Doc) - 8 colors.jpgCrayola Disney Finding Dory (Destiny) - 8 colors.jpgCrayola Disney Jake Never Land Pirates (Two) - 8 colors.jpg

 

Toy Fair

 

While nothing new came about in terms of color names in 2016, in 2017 we had a special box come out for the New York Toy Fair with new color names associated with New York.  It was a typical 8-color box dedicated to the Fair and the standard eight colors were changed to New York colors.

 

Crayola No 8 (2017 Toy Fair) - 8 colors.jpg

 

The new colors from this were:

Toy Fair NY 2017 colors.jpg

 


Big Apple Red - New color name but its true color came from Red

Broadway Brown - New color name but its true color came from Brown

Central Park Green - New color name but its true color came from Green

Fifth Avenue Purple - New color name but its true color came from Violet (purple)

NYPD Blue - New color name but its true color came from Blue

Taxi Cab Yellow - New color name but its true color came from Yellow

Times Square Orange - New color name but its true color came from Orange

Wall Street Black - New color name but its true color came from Black

 

Early Retirement

 

And while the Toy Fair colors will be extremely difficult for collectors to find due to the limited number of boxes available, the big announcement for 2017 was the retirement of yet another base color to make way for a brand new color.  Crayola pumped this up leading up to their big reveal on National Crayon Day in May 2017 but unfortunately the color was leaked early because they had already preprinted it on some of their standard crayon boxes and shipped to retailers with instructions not to stock until National Crayon Day.  Well, as we all know, plans don't work out necessarily as you want them to and some of the retailers didn't follow instructions and the word got out.  Crayola announced that Dandelion was the next retirement candidate.  Of course, this sent lots of publicity throughout the world.  They did go through with the celebrations on National Crayon Day. 

 

Dandelion retirement 2017.jpg

 

And of course the second announcement was the color that would replace it.  Turns out is was a new blue color that was devoloped at the University of Oregon in the blue family.  As Crayola reported "when a new blue pigment called YInMn (yin-min) was discovered in 2009 by Mas Subramanian, a chemistry professor at Oregon State University, we (Crayola) were very excited. This discovery is the first new blue pigment in 200 years and is the inspiration for the new blue crayon color."

 

YinMn Blue Pigment.JPG

 

Of course, their promotion of the whole spectacle wasn't entirely accurate from their history.  They purported to be retiring the first color from their iconic No 24 box in their history.  I have problems with that statement.  There are only five original color names from their original No 24 box which was actually a Rubens-Crayola box from 1903/1904 (they later dropped the Rubens reference).  Crayola has a long history of removing and changing colors in their boxes so that was a distorted truth.

 

Finally, they announced yet another naming of the color contest.  I will update this page with the results when they come out.

 

Crayola No 24 (Name the New Color) - 24 colors.jpg Crayola No 120 (Name the New Color) - 120 colors.jpg

 

 

Changes

 

Crayola didn't really discontinue anything during this time period with the exception of retiring Dandelion.  Here were the changes for 2016/2017:

 

Big Apple Red - New color name but its true color came from Red

Broadway Brown - was a new color name but its true color came from Brown

Central Park Green - New color name but its true color came from Green

<To be Named Blue Color> was a new color name and true color replacing Dandelion

Dandelion - Officially retired

Fifth Avenue Purple - New color name but its true color came from Violet (Purple)

NYPD Blue - New color name but its true color came from Blue

Taxi Cab Yellow - New color name but its true color came from Yellow

Times Square Orange - New color name but its true color came from Orange

Wall Street Black - New color name but its true color came from Black

The overall named color count went up from 765 to 774 while overall true colors stayed at 331.  As for active named colors; they stayed the same at 188 and active true colors remained the same at 153.

Let’s take a look at the color list for 2016 and 2017:

 

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

 #34 black, (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

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, Allen Iverson's favorite – black, Illinois Abe Lincoln’s Hat, Cleaner Coal Black, Eerie Black, Carbon Black, Night Owl, Wall Street 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

 

 #1 blue, (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

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, Derrick Coleman's favorite – blue, Matt Harpring's favorite – blue, Speedy Claxton's favorite – blue, iron man blue, liberty blue, Blue Cheese, Bleu Cheese, Bushkill Blue, America the Blue-tiful, Clearwater Blue, BeYOUtiful, NYPD 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

 (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Van Dyke Brown, Bunny Brown, Chocolate, Mouse Brown, Asteroid Brown, Ocean Floor (Brown), Pet Shop, Whoo Brown, Woodstock Mud, Chock-A-Lot Shake, Portobello, Mississippi Mud Pie, Brown Sugar, Mother Earth Brown, Sweet Brown, Freckle, Broadway Brown

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna; #44 burnt sienna

Same color as Baseball Mitt, Massachusetts Boston Tea Party

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, Kentucky Fort Knox Gold, Gold Bunny Gold

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

 #21 green, (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Leap Frog Green, Bullfrog Green, Graphic Green, Martian Green (Green), Mole’s Green Boots, Sea Sperpent Green (Green), Eric Snow's favorite – green, Chili’s® Green, Lucy™ Lettuce Green, Fresh Basil, Hybrid Green, Slimy Green, Easter Green, Jalapeno, Central Park 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

2003

Discontinued

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 from 1997-2003.

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

 #38 magenta

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

 

 Same color as Puerto Rico Coqui Green

35

25

Orange

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Jack “O” Lantern Orange, Tulip, Cyberspace Orange, Grandma’s Perfume, Huggable Bear Orange, Jupiter Orange, Shrimp (Orange), Solar Flare (Orange), Damone Brown's favorite – orange, Jack-O-Lantern Orange, go O's, Dreamy Creamy Orange, Orange you glad you’re in America?, Evolution Orange, Orange Soda, Smashed Pumpkin, Freshly Squeezed, Times Square 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; same color as Connecticut Nutmeg

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

 #12 red, (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Candy Apple Red, Rose, Lobster Red (Red, Mercury Red (Red), Red Balloon, Smell the Roses, Scarlet Red, Derrick McKey's favorite – red, crabby red, Pepper Pal’s® Red, Alice’s Lipstick, Maine Lobster Red, Target® Red, Magic Potion, Red Salsa, Revitalized Red, Ribbon Red, Lady Bug, Superpower, Big Apple 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

 #43 silver

1915-1943 offered only as bulk; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; same color as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Alvin Jones' favorite – silver, Dikembe Mutombo's favorite – silver, Ghostly Silver, Harbor Lights

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), (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

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, ravenous purple, Perry Prunes™ Purple, Ray Raisin™ Purple, Colorado Pikes Peak Purple, Plump Purple, Purification Purple, "Peace, Love and Purple", Creepy Crawly, Fifth Avenue 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

 (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Baby Powder, Coconut, Baby’s Powder, Space Shuttle White, Peace Dove White, Milky Way White, White House, Washington Space Needle

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

 

 (in Japanese for Anpanman wrapper")

Same color as Maximum Yellow, Sunshine Yellow, Daffodil, Lemon, Starlight Yellow (Yellow), Sunfish Yellow (Yellow), Sunny Day, Sunshiny Yellow, World Wide Web Yellow, Coach Larry Brown's favorite – yellow, Lemonade, Kansas Yellow Brick Road, Bright Yellow, Solar Yellow, Sunnyside Up, Taxi Cab 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

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