Crayola No 55, the forgotten small box from 1903

Back in 1903, at the very beginning of the Crayola crayon and brand, Binney & Smith (now renamed to Crayola) produced a wide variety of crayon products to offer to consumers.

One of those boxes was the Crayola No 55.  I like to think of it as one of the forgotten boxes because it is so rare.  Currently, there is only one known.

What makes the No 55 unusual from it's 1903 counterparts is its size.  The box and the crayons are practically half the size of the normal No 8 box we know of today.

It is also one of their original boxes that did not have wrappers on the crayons.  Therefore, there are no named colors for the assortment.  The box was wide enough to hold two rows of six crayons each.

Still, it contained 12 tiny crayons, each a different color.  These crayons were commonly known to be made specifically for small children.  The thought in that day was that tiny hands needed tiny crayons.  Of course, current thinking is just the opposite.  To build motor skills, small children need easy to navigate blocks of crayon, not tiny easily-breakable ones.

This was the only product Binney & Smith made with crayons of this size and they wouldn't use them again until they came out with their Tiny Tots crayon line in 1930.  Since the Crayola No 55 only made it until 1910, that left a full 20-year gap where they didn't makethis size crayon at all.

Perhaps as penny crayons (which is what Tiny Tots were) continued to stay popular, they resurrected their long forgotten crayons from this and used them again for the Tiny Tots.  The Tiny Tot line lasted until 1934 and this size crayon was never used again.

Though there is only one known surviving box to date and no ads for the box that have been found, we are only left with the famous 1904 Crayola Brochure containing a picture of many of the original boxes from that era as proof that it ever existed.  That is why it is one of the forgotten boxes in Crayola's history.

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