The Crayola Crayon was invented by Binney & Smith, a pigment company, in 1903. Their crayons have gained such popularity that "Crayola" is nearly synonymous with the word "crayon."
The first boxes of Crayola Crayons had eight colors and sold for five cents in 1903. The name Crayola came from the French word "craie," meaning "chalk" and the word "oleaginous," meaning "oily."
Crayola has made more than 400 colors since that first selection. They have renamed, replaced and retired many colors over the years to make room for new ones. The labels around Crayola Crayons come in 18 colors.
Crayola Crayons are made from paraffin wax and pigment, using the same basic recipe since 1903. They are manufactured in Easton and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Mexico City, Mexico.
According to Crayola's website, crayon marks can often be removed from painted walls with some WD-40 and a clean cloth, removing any residue with a small amount of liquid dish soap.
Crayola makes crayons in 120 core colors. Nearly 3 billion Crayola Crayons are manufactured annually, enough to circle the Earth six times when laid end to end.
Gwynne Ito has been a writer, translator and editor since 1995. She translates, edits and writes as a freelancer on various projects, including for video games such as Nintendo's "Harvest Moon" series and "Freestyle Street Basketball." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese from Indiana University.