How Crayons are made

I’m probably going to show this video to my students over the summer as we discuss various definitions of technology. I’ve used this example before to illustrate technology as manufacturing; for some reason this is the picture in my head when I think ‘manufacturing’. They don’t make crayons like this any more, of course, but I especially like how tactile this video is: lots of hands grabbing bundles of crayons and moving them around really gives you a sense of the weight of the crayons in bulk, and a pretty good idea at the steps involved in crayon creation. I’ve referenced this montage in my 101 class, without having the video handy, under the assumption that enough people have seen Sesame Street and Electric Company to recognize the reference. But maybe I’m just old.

Is this video familiar? If it isn’t, and I said “The Sesame Street montage of how crayons are made”, would you at least have a sense of what I’m talking about?


  1. I would know what you are talking about but I’m probably a good 10 years older than your high school Summer students. They don’t really make these sorts of educational “art” films anymore and it’s too bad since they look like great fun to make.

  2. I think eripsa is saying that it is Seasame Streetesque. Something shot on film probably between 1975-1985 that is set to minimalist music (usually something jazzy, or some Brian Enoesque thing) that documents a group of people doing a job in a factory (somewhat industrial but occasionally a cake factory or something). The people don’t say anything it simply documents the production with artful cross dissolves, rack focuses, and other filmic techniques employed in shooting objects and machines.

  3. this video shows a society in which no one needs to communicate to get anything done. Everyone knows what their part is in the larger scheme of things, and does their job without complaint. Essentially, this video is promoting communism. And Russian that I am, I gladly accept this ideal. Additionally, the young girl in the video sees her future as tracked into the orange crayon-making industry, and somehow finds it extremely gratifying. The final symbolism of the girl putting away the used crayon, and it being transformed into new shows that she is willing to consent to living her future life with the goal of adding an equally important color crayon to the box as a whole.

  4. If it were promoting Communism then it would be a red crayon and not yellow orange. Plus how does coloring help the common good and serve the party? Really, in Communism there is no need for more than one or two crayons. A variety of colors only serve to promote individual interpretations or colourings of a situation and as Chavez is showing right now this is not a good situation.

  5. Dude,

    What is wrong with you? This isn’t Sesame Street. This is from my favorite Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode ever!

  6. It can be assumed in most educated circles that MRN and “the Street” comprise the same power hour of greatness. I’m not entirely sure but I beleive there was the occasional pupet crossover arc.

  7. This is probably the only Mr. Rogers episode that I can readily recall; this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it linked in recent years, but despite that I was still able to remember it vividly.

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