Crayola Factory (and Silly Putty)


In 1885, Edwin Binney and his cousin C. Harold Smith formed a partnership to make high-quality carbon black pigment, the main ingredient in printing and marking inks. In 1900, they invented a black crayon for industrial use, by combining dry carbon black with various waxes. They also began manufacturing slate pencils and dustless chalk. While demonstrating these products at local schools, company reps noticed a need for better quality crayons. The company quickly re-engineered its industrial crayon, making it smaller and adding colored pigments to the paraffin wax. Edwin Binney's wife, a school teacher, named the new crayons "Crayola."

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Other
Topic(s):Sports/ Games
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:In the 1940s, General Electric engineer James Wright mixed boric acid and silicone oil, resulting in "nutty putty." Toy store owner Paul Hodgson bought some and sold it inside plastic eggs as "Silly Putty." In 1977, Binney & Smith acquired exclusive manufacturing rights and produces more than 300 lbs, or 12,000 eggs, of Silly Putty a day.
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