For sale is a rare 1920s era STERLING WHITE “OLD FAITHFUL” CHALK CRAYONS CRATE from the American Crayon Company, Sandusky, Ohio & Waltham, Mass. One side of the wood crate features the company’s iconic Old Faithful logo. This box would have been used to ship a gross of crayons which is 144 crayons. My favorite part of this crate is that the text on one side of the crate chastises you from purchasing the company’s “cheapest” crayons the company’s Waltham crayons which only cost “a little more”. Frankly, the company is offended by their customer’s lack of good judgment. This wood box has dovetailed corners and measures about 6 1/2 inches long, 4 1/2 inches wide, and 3 3/4 inches tall. Interior of box still has white marks from the shipped white chalk crayons. An superb antique petite crate that’s easy to display.
The American Crayon Company, one of the premier and foremost manufacturers of school art supplies and other industrial products in the nation, originally grew out of the need for a high quality chalk. In 1835, Dr. Francis F. Field, a dentist in Waltham, Massachusetts experimented with chalk, which was later developed into a commercial product by Parmenter, Powell & Powers Company to become known as Waltham Crayons. Similarly, Marcellus F. Cowdery, the first superintendent of Sandusky’s Public Schools, frustrated by existing chalks constantly scratching slate boards, encouraged his brother-in-law, William D. Curtis, to formulate an improved chalk. In 1850, Curtis began conducting experiments in the kitchen of his small home, and was able to create a few sticks of pure white, processed chalk. By 1860, the American Crayon Company had made the first tailor’s chalk, the first carpenter’s chalk, and in 1878 created the first railroad chalk. Originally labeled as the J.S. Cowdery Manufacturers the company quickly renamed itself Western School Supply. In 1890, the the American Crayon Company was formed from the merger of the Western School Supply Company, Sandusky Ohio, the Tiffin Crayon Company and the Parmenter Crayon Company, Waltham, Massachusetts.
American Crayon was one of only a small number of companies that were allowed to use the word “American” on their products and had a prominent “A” logo on nearly all of their crayon products from 1902 up until 1918 when they decided to adopt a new symbol for their company and chose the Old Faithful symbol.