Within the next few years, the Binney & Smith Company began mixing their carbon black with common oilfield paraffin, creating the black Staonal Marking crayon, reported to be able to “stay on all” media upon which it was used. This quickly led to the creation of the first colored crayons in response to Mrs. Binney’s desire for color and dustless chalk in her classroom. In 1903, the first safe, quality, affordable wax crayon was produced in a box of eight colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown and black. The pack was sold for a nickel under the name Crayola, a term coined by Mrs. Binney who combined the French word “craie” – meaning chalk – and “ola” from “oleaginous” – meaning rich in oil. Thus by combining oil and gas feedstock supplied by the booming petroleum industry with common oilfield paraffin, a product was created which would revolutionize our childhoods and add color to the imaginations of every child born in the last century.
Read more about the history of Crayola Crayons and their creation at the American Oil & Gas Historical Society.