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5 Times Crayola Retired Its Crayons

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Cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith introduced their first eight Crayola crayons in 1903. But the world has changed since then, and so, too, have the names of their waxy creations. With an eye towards shifting societal, racial, or political attitudes, the company behind these crayons of yore has scribbled over these original monikers in favor of more crowd-pleasing—but equally colorful—titles.

1. “FLESH” WAS NO LONGER PEACHY.

The Civil Rights movement had a direct impact on Crayola’s core stable of shades. In 1962, Crayola voluntarily changed “Flesh” to “Peach” in an attempt to preempt any potential legal issues—and to encourage coloring enthusiasts the world over to diversify their stick figures.

2. PRUSSIAN BLUE RECEIVED ICY TREATMENT.

The Kingdom of Prussia (part of modern-day Germany, Poland, and Russia) remained an independent state from 1701 to 1871. Unfortunately, the crayon dubbed Prussian Blue had a far shorter reign in the kingdom of colors. Introduced in 1949 alongside a cadre of 39 new cohorts, Prussian Blue was unceremoniously stripped of its name in 1958. Theories abound as to why—some speculate that the average kindergartener just didn’t know (or care) what Prussia was, while others point to the xenophobia of the Cold War era. Crayola hoped the color's new name, Midnight Blue, would help make it more relevant, and potentially less useful in coloring Iron Curtains.

3. INDIAN RED WAS SO MISUNDERSTOOD.

Introduced in 1958 with 15 additional colors (finally giving children 64 shades to work with!), this color was actually named for a pigment that originated in India. Over the years, teachers began to worry that children would see the crayon as a reference to American Indians' skin color. In 1999, the Crayola company changed the name to Chestnut—but that too came with a disclaimer. The crayon manufacturer warned children that these chestnuts should never be roasted over an open fire, as they soften and begin to melt at just 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. EIGHT COLORS GOT WAXED OFF.

The year 1990 brought about the first forced retirement of colors in the house of Crayola. And just like that, old fogies Blue Gray, Green Blue, Lemon Yellow, Maize, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Raw Umber, and Violet Blue were sent out to waxy pastures. They were replaced with new-generation colors including Cerulean, Fuchsia, and Dandelion, which were considered bolder, more vibrant, and more likely to boost your Scrabble score.

5. KINDERGARTENERS BECAME DRUNK WITH POWER.

In celebration of Crayola's 100th birthday in 2003, consumers were encouraged to suggest new crayon names as well as vote out four crayon colors. The casualties of the Crayola tribal council were newer colors Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, and Teal Blue, and the older Mulberry. These proud veterans stepped aside for such wildly creative crayons as Inch Worm, Jazzberry Jam, Mango Tango, and Wild Blue Yonder—proving that allowing kindergarteners to veto your marketing department isn't always the best idea.

This story originally appeared in mental_floss magazine.

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
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Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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