While mulling over Crayola products at Toys "R" Us earlier today, I found myself wondering about the rosy-beige colored crayon once called “flesh.” I knew the crayon didn’t exist anymore – after all, it was completely ridiculous to label a crayon “flesh” when most people on the planet don't have skin that color -- but I do remember it from childhood and wondered whatever happened to Crayola’s (arguably) racist crayon?
Back at home, Google enlightens me with her knowledge. Turns out, the crayon’s name was changed in 1962 when the Civil Rights Movement started to heat up. That’s more than a decade before I was scribbling on scratch paper, but I remember the crayon distinctly. I think it was in a coffee can filled with crayons at my grandma’s house that was originally my older cousin’s.
Actually, Crayola changed the name of this crayon in 1903, from “flesh tint” to “flesh” to “pink beige” and then back to “flesh.” It finally switched for good to “peach” in ’62.
In 1999, the crayon named “Indian red” was changed to “chestnut” because kids identified the color with Native Americans even though it was named after a dye from India. Other Crayola name changes over the years include “Van Dyke brown” which became plain ol’ “brown,” “Madder Lake” changed to “dark red,” “rose pink” to “carnation pink” and “charcoal gray” became just “gray.”
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.