That distinctive Crayola crayon smell is beef fat

In a 1982 study conducted by Yale University Professor William Cain, Crayola crayons were among the top 20 smells most frequently identified by subjects. That unique odour is created in large part by stearic acid, which is a derivative of beef tallow — more commonly known as beef fat. The ingredient is used to deliver a waxy consistency.

They smell good enough to eat

Crayola released a line of food-scented crayons in 1994. Dubbed Magic Scent, the wax sticks came in coconut, cherry, and licorice. But by July 1995, Crayola had taken them off the market. Parents feared kids would eat them — and indeed, roughly 10 of them did. Despite that statistically insignificant number, Crayola changed the scents to be less appetising. Brown, for example, went from smelling like chocolate to smelling like dirt.

Each Crayola crayon used to be hand-rolled

Most people assume the Crayolas of today are wrapped in their distinctive labels via industrial machinery, and they would be correct. But for the company’s first 40 years, no such technology existed. Employees (and farm families) had to hand-roll each label.

‘Leftolas’ made the world’s biggest crayon

When Crayons reach to their stubs and become too small to grasp or too flat to draw with have been dubbed ‘Leftolas’ by the company. During their 100th anniversary in 2003, Binney & Smith (former name of Crayola LLC.) asked children around the country to send in their unwanted blue Leftolas.

Crayola got the equivalent of 123,000 crayons, which they fused together to create Big Blue, a 1,500-pound monster that measured 15 feet long and was 16 inches in diameter.

Crayola fanatics can visit the monstrosity at the Crayola Experience tour in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 29th, 2022

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