How 3 billion Crayola crayons are made

Road Trip 2010: CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman gets a look at how the famous crayons are produced, and is too nice to keep such delightful information to himself.

A pile of freshly made Crayola crayons. CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman got to see how 3 billion of the iconic coloring implements are made a year as part of his Road Trip 2010 project. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

EASTON, Pa.--Alongside Lego bricks, Crayola crayons may well be the most common playthings on Earth. Or so it seems. Every year, Crayola produces more than 3 billion of its famous coloring implements.

When I was planning my Road Trip 2010 to the East Coast, I knew I had no choice but to go and see how they're made. And on Friday, I was lucky enough to get to do so.

Click here for a full photo gallery on the Crayola crayon production process .

Unfortunately, the company doesn't allow observers at its actual production plant. But it has set up a visitors' center in this small town in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where it demonstrates a realistic version of the production line, albeit one that moves at a much slower pace to make it possible for the 300,000 annual guests to understand how it all works.

It's actually quite a simple process, which can best be illustrated by checking out either of the two videos embedded here, or the accompanying slide show. Please enjoy them.

For the next few weeks, Geek Gestalt will be on Road Trip 2010. After driving more than 18,000 miles in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast over the last four years, I'll be looking for the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation and more throughout the American northeast. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. In the meantime, you can follow my progress on Twitter @GreeterDan and @RoadTrip and find the project on Facebook. And you can also test your knowledge of the U.S. and try to win a prize in the Road Trip Picture of the Day challenge.

 

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