There’s a lot to love about this sweet handmade box chock a block full of stubby crayons once owned by the Robbins family of Lexington, Massachusetts. The paper wrapping the outside of the thin paperboard is block-printed with tiny black diamonds and jubilant blue dots. Within, the sticks and chocolate-chip like pieces range in color from brilliant blues and rich terracottas to pale pinks and creepy greens. On the inside of the lid, you can see the artist thinking, scratching on the blank paper with a selected crayon, testing the color.
Advertisements from the c. 1810 are too long to include in this post – I’ve included a slightly earlier one. This merchant offers a few boxes of crayons, but his counterparts 17 years later offer 100-200 boxes of crayons in different sizes, as well as “Crayon rubbers, Kitcats and Long Cloths for Portrait Painters — Ivory Sheets for Miniatures.” (Boston Commercial Gazette, 1/7/1805)