How Is a Crayon Made?

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Crayons have been available for home use since 1903. During 1864 the process for making crayons was under conception. The process for making crayons hasn't changed much since then. Crayons sold in the United States have always been non-toxic.

History

  • The birth of crayons started in 1864 when Peekskill Chemical Co. was founded by Joseph Binney. Peekskill Chemical Co. made color ranges for black and red in paint. In 1885, Joseph's son, Edwin, founded Binney & Smith with his cousin, C. Harold Smith. Binney & Smith expanded to produce items such as shoe polish and printing ink. In 1900, the cousins purchased a stone mill in Easton, Pennsylvania, and began to make pencils for schools. Soon after, research went into making a non-toxic color medium for school children. Already they had invented a wax crayon that was used to mark crates and barrels, but because of the carbon black in the crayon, it was too toxic for use by children. Finally, in 1903 the first crayons were introduced, an eight-pack named Crayola.

Ingredients

  • Crayons are made with the same process as they were in 1903. Each crayon has two ingredients: paraffin wax and pigment. The paraffin is transported in its liquid form, kept at temperatures of 135 degrees or more. Crayons made in the factory start off as wax and powdered pigment that is heated and poured from a double-spouted bucket.

Molding and Cooling

  • The paraffin wax and powder is mixed to form a specific color and poured onto a molding table to cool. About 2400 crayons are created on the molding table. The wax-pigment blend is cooled by water, taking four to seven minutes depending on the color. Water cannot be absorbed by the wax.

Inspection

  • Every crayon created goes through an inspection process. An inspector examines each crayon, sending back crayons that have breaks, chips or bubbles to be remelted.

Wrapping

  • After the crayons are inspected they are moved to the next station, which wraps the crayons in paper labels. The machine will then box them up into the crayons' specific assortment. The crayons are now ready for shipment to the wholesaler. Today, more than 120 colors are available.

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References

  • Photo Credit crayons image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com
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