Happy National Crayon Day!

crayons
By Jorge Barrios (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
March 31 is National Crayon Day, and while we usually see everyone’s favorite art supply in the hands of our favorite tiny humans, there are people out there creating some incredible things with those brightly colored wax sticks. Like this piece of Supernatural fan art made of melted wax, for example. To help inspire some crayon creativity in kids and adults today, here are some pieces of trivia about the world of crayons:

  • The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company (originally A.W. Faber Company) was one of the first to begin producing wax crayons back in the 1880s.
  • The average child in the United States will wear down about 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday. That’s 11.4 boxes of 64 crayons. That’s enough crayons to color in an NBA basketball court.
  • According to Christian Science Monitor, parents buy enough crayons in a year to make a giant crayon “35 feet wide and 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.”
  • The first box of Crayola crayons was introduced in 1903. It sold for a nickel and included the same eight colors available today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black, and brown.
  • Those original eight colors were the only ones available for 46 years, until 40 new colors were added in 1949. Here’s a timeline of Crayola’s color additions.
  • Binney and Smith, the company that makes Crayola products, started in the late 1800s making the red pigment used in paint for American barns. They also made the carbon black that Goodrich added to their tires to transform the natural white of the rubber.
  • Discovery Kids tells us that Edwin Binney’s wife Alice gave Crayola its name. “She combined the words craie (French for chalk) with the first part of the word oleaginous (the oily paraffin wax) to make the word ‘crayola.'”
  • Crayola produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of 12 million wax sticks daily. That’s enough to circle the globe six times.

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Jackie Reeve is a Core Contributor and former Senior Editor at GeekMom. She's a librarian, a writer, and a quilt designer. She's wife to an Englishman and mom to a little geek girl, and she blogs about life and crafts at The Orange Room. Jackie's obsessed with cardigans and thinks Die Hard is the best Christmas movie there is.