Color my world with crayons
Saturday, May 04, 2013 8:00 PM
Orange Yellow. Yellow Orange. Blue Green. Green Blue. Yellow Green. Green Yellow.
Doesn't that sound like a lot of repetitiveness? Not in the world of Crayola Crayons.
Binney & Smith (which changed its name to Crayola in 2007), the Easton, Pa., company that started out with eight basic colors in its crayon box in 1903, created a multitude of rainbow colors that would make a leprechaun happy.
The colors in the first boxes that rolled out to the public were black, brown, orange, violet, blue, green, red and yellow.
There wasn't any Red Orange or Blue Green in the mix.
Today, 110 years later, Crayola has about 120 core colors.
By the way, Orange Yellow, Yellow Orange, Blue Green, Green Blue, Green Yellow and Yellow Green were all introduced in 1949-57. And there is a difference in the color shades, believe it or not.
When I was born in 1963, you could get a box of Crayola Crayons with 64 colors.
From 1958-71, to boost the box total to 64, Copper, Forest Green, Sky Blue, Burnt Orange, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna and Goldenrod were among the colors added.
Indian Red was also added back then, but the name was changed to Chestnut in 1999 when educators noted they thought some students perceived the color to represent the skin tone of Native Americans. The color was actually named for the reddish-brown pigment found near India commonly used in fine art oil paint.
I have never used the fine art oil paint, but I have gone through many an Indian Red crayon or two.
I still remember as a child spending hours and hours filling up page after page in coloring books.
Just about everyone in my family would color with me. It was always interesting to see how a white page with black lines could be transformed into works of art. At least I thought so.I don't remember how it was done, but I do remember a friend's mom taking the crayon shavings and the remaining nubs of color and melting them into squares to extend the life of the crayon.
My best coloring partner was my cousin, Danica. I know I used to drive her crazy with how much I wanted to color.
She taught me to color in the lines, but also made sure if I didn't, I knew it was OK. Sometimes, it was a little tough to wrap my fat fingers around a stick of color with a blunt tip and keep the color within the black lines.
I think it would be neat to go back in time and look at the pages that were colored.
Years later, her kids would do the same with me. There were many, many hours of coloring I spent with Christopher and Kim.
By that time, the box included Chartreuse, Wild Watermelon and Laser Lemon.
And even years later, I did the same with my boys Kyle and Adam.
Neon Carrot, Magic Mint and Sunglow were among those added in 1990-92 while Macaroni and Cheese, Granny Smith Apple, Wisteria and Denim were among those added in 1993.
Now I'm not really sure what blend it takes to make Denim, Pacific Blue or any of the other blues in the Crayola family of blues.
Lately, I don't much have the opportunity for use crayons, but Crayola is one of the many companies that produce colored pencils.
So now I'm coloring my world with the likes of Pale Rose, Rose Red, Taupe, Teal, Amethyst, Dollar Bill, Salmon, Peach, Mango, Silver, Sandstorm, Blue, Green, Yellow, Slate, Maroon, Bubble Gum, and, believe it or not, Red Orange and Yellow Green.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.