Thursday, June 8, 2017

Feeling Blue?

Did the recent "news" of a new Crayola® blue crayon being introduced and a favorite yellow color going into retirement, excite you?

Me neither.

But then, it's been quite a long time since I used any crayons. 

In case you haven't heard, bright-yellow dandelion is on its way out of the crayon box and a(nother) blue color will be join the crayon ranks. 

Why a new blue? That's America's favorite color crayon so says U.S. crayon-maker Crayola. The yet-unnamed blue will join its crayon buddies in a 24-count Crayola box, but not until Dandelion leaves or should I say "retires" as that's the term that Crayola uses. Dandelion's retirement leaves a lone yellow crayon in the box. 

The new blue is described as brilliant blue and its color is “inspired” by a blue pigment, “YInMn” blue from yttrium, indium and manganese oxide, elements that comprise the pigment. (Right, I knew that. Not really.) 

The story goes that the color was accidentally discovered by Oregon State University chemists years ago i2009. Chemists were mixing and heating chemicals to find new materials for electronics use. In 2016, NPR reported that a sample heated to a temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit came out "strikingly blue." Crayloa executives heard of the pigment find and contacted the chemists about using it. 
Color blue aficionados, and anyone else, could help name the new blue by submitting name suggestions on Crayola’s website. In early September, Crayola will announce the fan-selected name winner. It will have to wait until late 2017 to join the crayon pack. That's because as a newly-discovered pigment, it must go through regulatory approval. (Sort of like drugs and chemicals and wondering why this wasn't done earlier.)

Shed no tears for dandelion yellow which, since 1990, has spent 27 years in the crayon business. It's on a crest of pre-retirement fame and going out celebrity style. There's North American retirement tour and Instagram updates with “requests” for its next stop. It will also enter the Crayola Hall of Fame. (What more could a crayon want?)

And, anticipating a run on dandelion yellow, the company started selling 64-packs of all dandelion crayons after the retirement news. (I'll bypass that buy.)
  • Crayola didn’t invent the crayon, that claim goes to Europe.
  • Crayons are made primarily from paraffin wax and color pigment.
  • Early crayons were made from a mixture of charcoal and oil. Powdered pigments of various hues replaced charcoal. It was found that substituting wax for oil in the mixture made the sticks sturdier and easier to handle. 
  • Crayola crayons were invented by Edwin Binney and his cousin C. Harold Smith in 1902 and first sold in 1903. 
  • Edwin Binney was color-blind.
  • The Crayola name was coined by Mrs. Binney by merging the French word "craie," (stick of chalk) and "ola" from "oleaginous (oily).
  • Crayola marked its centennial year in 2003 and makes over 3 billion crayons annually.
And now you know the story of a new and a retiring crayon. While it wasn't the biggest news story of the day, it was a pleasant diversion from recent news events.

NOW for a question — My favorite color(s) are purple & red, and YOURS ?


Cheryl @ TFD said...

Very interesting! I hadn't heard about the new blue or the retirement of the yellow crayon. But, like you, I haven't used Crayons for a few years now. :)

My favorite color? Hmmm, let me see. I love most colors except for the color gray. If I had to choose, it would probably be red and any shade of blue.

Emma Springfield said...

I kept reading about the retirement of one color and introduction of a new one. It amused me at the time. My favorite color is purple and most of its variations. I also like yellow but it makes me look like I just died so I stay away from it.

Blogoratti said...

I think the blue looks great, and yes it is some news to divert away from the issues around the world. Thanks for sharing.

mamasmercantile said...

Definitely news that made me smile. I am a great fan of green.

William Kendall said...

That's a lot of crayons to put out!

Michelle said...

Interesting info. I can tell you that as a 2nd grade teacher, my class goes through a lot of crayons each year!! Whew!!

Valerie said...

Whoops! I didn't know crayons were still around. Shame on me for being ignorant. I guess it's normal not to know when there are no children around to enlighten me.

Lynn said...

My favorite color is blue! I think they should name it Strikingly Blue. :) That's a neat story.

diane b said...

Interesting I like blue best

Connie said...

Oh no, my favorite color is yellow! I feel betrayed somehow. Ha!

possum said...

Favorite? Gotta be a plural there... Turquoise blue, crimson... but I hate orange!
Dandelion yellow was a nice color, but the kids seldom use yellows and probably would never use orange if it were not for Halloween and pumpkins!
Binney-Smith was my favorite company! (I was an art teacher!) They used to put on workshops for us every year - loads of samples, unique ways of using those materials. Crayons are good for lots more than just 'coloring!'

Fun post!

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