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How are crayons made?

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Crayola, the company best known for its crayons, recently introduced a box called Colours of the World. Now everyone can find their skin tone in a box of crayons and our art can be more inclusive. That's great news! And it got us wondering – how are crayons made?

Crayons start out as colourless wax. Paraffin wax is delivered to a factory in its solid form. It is then heated until it becomes a liquid. Next, it is mixed with powdered pigments to add colour and sometimes clay to help thicken it. Machines then pump this mixture into moulds to form the crayons' shape. As it cools, the wax mixture hardens back into a solid. At Crayola's factories, water flows underneath the moulds to help with the cooling process. Extra wax is removed and reused. Then the finished crayons are checked, labelled, sorted, boxed and shipped! Check out this video from Crayola's YouTube channel for a peek behind the scenes.

Crayola isn't the only company that makes crayons. According to Kiddle, there are over 300 crayon manufacturers in the United States and many more in other countries. Crayola was the first to introduce colourful wax crayons to the world back in 1903, thanks to inventor Edwin Binney. And with every shade from "Razzmatazz" to "Mountain Meadow," crayons are still helping to make the world a more colourful place.

Put your crayons to use while learning about Ontario history! We turned pictures from our special collections into colouring pages. Can you find the one featuring Riverdale Branch?

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