Crayola Fluorescent Crayons: What's Inside the Box

The Hot Fluorescent 16 count crayon box was probably one of my first boxes of crayons when I was young. As with many boxes from my youth these crayons were magical in my mind.  I loved them so much that I lost most of them and the box was destroyed.  Luckily I found some more on eBay recently. The crayons are very bright and sometimes hard to see in the light, but they are magical. They are super bright.  For this reason Crayola included a black crayon to outline the the colors. It was not the first time these crayons were introduced. This 1990's box was a major change from previous versions of Crayola Fluorescent crayons from the 1970's.  The wrappers were changed, colors were renamed and added. Many of the crayons names are around today and included in the higher count crayon boxes.  They have been renamed Neon crayons. (Thanks Ed Welter for all the information on these crayons)

I also have recently collected one of the original boxes from the 1970's.  These have the name Fluorescent on every crayon wrapper and some very fun names that have been retired.  The box specifies that they glow in black light.  It is interesting to note on this box there is a style number, but no code number.  There is a 2240 number after the style number. They also say 8F crayons.  I wonder if Crayola used the same style number for the 8 count boxes at the time, but differentiated these ones with the F.

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Collecting & Shopping Information
Boxes: 8 count box Crayola Fluorescent Crayons, 16 count Crayola Fluorescent Crayons
Year: 1972 (8 count box), 1990 (16 count box)
Other Boxes: 1973 boxes, see Ed's website for more information
What's inside the box: 8 Count Crayola Fluorescent Crayons: hot magenta fluorescent, ultra pink fluorescent, ultra red fluorescent, ultra orange fluorescent, ultra yellow fluorescent, chartreuse fluorescent, ultra green fluorescent, ultra blue fluorescent
16 Hot Fluorescent Crayons: laser lemon, electric lime, atomic tangerine, sunglow, shocking pink, wild watermelon, black, radical red, hot magenta, unmellow yellow, blizzard blue, purple pizzazz, screamin' green, razzle dazzle rose, outrageous orange, magic mint
Purchase Information: I bought a box in the 1990's at Reams Grocery and bought one on eBay recently
Where to buy: eBay
Style Number: 52-6068 (8 count), 52-016F (16 count)
Code Number: 52-6068 2240 (8 count), 52-016F-0-200
UPC: 071662101671 (1990), none on 1972 box
Manufacturing Location: USA


Patent Information
I am amazed by ALL the patent information there is on these crayons.  Did you know the first Fluorescent crayon was patented in 1882?  I think the patent that applies to this particular box is the patent from 1990.  It is interesting what Binney & Smith said in their 1996 patent. They said there are several problems that occur when making a fluorescent crayon. The problem is that "fluorescers, which are substances which emit electromagnetic radiation (usually as visible light)" are added to the crayons.  There were problems with the "binder component"s that were used to attach these to the crayon were weak and caused several problems.  In the patent it says, the crayon may not have good "mechanical strength" because it may crumble or break when rubbed "on a surface" and it may also absorb water causing the crayon to have a "wet feel and [lose] mechanical strength".  Other problems included; "marking properties", "appearance", and "toxicity". The 1996 patent claims to have the "preferred embodiment" that solves these problems. An interesting note in the patent says these crayons glow in the dark and light. 

It will be interesting to compare the two marking properties of the crayons.

1990 Hot Fluorescent Crayons

1972 Hot Fluorescent Crayons

6 comments:

  1. Jennifer...is that 1882 patent date correct or a typo? That would pre-date the introduction of paraffin wax; a key contributor to the evolution of the modern day crayon in America. I'd be curious to know more if you found information that old...Thanks, Ed

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    1. It's the right date. He mentions crayons in his patent. Here's the link http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=00257706&IDKey=1D6F52E7E993%0D%0A&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526d%3DPALL%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsrchnum.htm%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526s1%3D0257%2C706.PN.%2526OS%3DPN%2F0257%2C706%2526RS%3DPN%2F0257%2C706

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    2. He's from England, but registered the patent in the US.

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    3. Here's one from England in 1896 https://www.google.com/patents/US566845

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    4. https://www.google.com/patents/US471438 This one is from 1890 and mentions Paraffine-wax. He was from New York.

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  2. I have a pack with the same item number. Does not have glow in the dark on the pink banner. instead of 2240, mine has 1622. The back is also different-looks like the front but without the flap. Any info on my box? the crayons have black wrappers.

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