4 Cool Facts About Crayons
If you’ve lived and breathed, you’ve probably used a crayon before. These little guys are super handy in the beginnings of a child’s foray into artistic creativity. They are excellent for helping little hands build strength and coordination, and they are responsible for many an adorable take-home elementary school project. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and they even come in fun shapes. Vibrant and colorful, crayons have a place in crafts and art for older folks, too. Read on for four facts you might not know about these much-loved childhood staples.
1. There Have Been Over 400 Colors of Crayola Crayons
The crayon giant currently offers 120 colors, but since 1903, Crayola has come out with over 400 different shades! These are created by mixing dry pigments in industrial blenders and combining them with hot paraffin wax. Colors have included some fun names like Razzmatazz, Bluetiful, Jazzberry Jam, Orange Soda, Outer Space and Leather Jacket.
2. Crayons Have Been Around for Thousands of Years
Well, sort of. The technique of mixing wax and pigment was first employed by the ancient Romans. They would melt it onto a stone surface and burn it in as a sort of waxy paint. Later, writing implements were developed in Europe that led to the pastels used by Leonardo da Vinci in the late 1400s. These pastels were the official precursors to modern-day crayons.
3. The Largest Crayon Weighs Almost a Ton
Coming in at a massive 1,500 pounds, Big Blue is the largest crayon in the world. It was made using the leftovers of the equivalent of 123,000 crayons donated from all over the United States. It lives at the Crayola Experience in Pennsylvania and is nearly 16 feet long!
4. Crayons Are French
Not only did modern colorful wax crayons originate in France in the late 1800s, but the word “crayon” comes from the French word that originally meant “chalk pencil.” In reality, the word is used today to mean any old pencil in France. So, the next time you’re in Paris, try not to laugh when you discover that everybody writes their college essays and love letters in crayon.
You may not have realized that crayons have such an illustrious and interesting history. From the Romans of millennia ago to your kindergartner scribbling superheroes this afternoon, crayons have made an incredibly long and adventurous journey. These facts are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to crayons and their place in the world of art, for both the young and old.