Crayola’s Top Employee Made A Billion Crayons Despite Color Vision Deficiency
By Mikelle Leow, 03 Aug 2022
Not everyone can tell the difference between cadet blue and teal. Emerson Moser certainly—physically—couldn’t. Yet, for nearly 40 years, he worked as a crayon maker at Crayola, where he molded an estimated 1.4 billion crayons.
Moser was hired as a floor boy in the company’s packing department in 1953. He made his first crayon on May 5, 1955, and for the next 35 years, that was all he did at work.
His retirement made headlines back in 1990, his 37th and final year at Crayola parent company Binney & Smith Co. A recent tweet by a popular fact-sharing Twitter account brings this vibrant spot in history to the attention of today’s public.
In the tweet, the long-service employee is described to have admitted to the press that he was colorblind after having made 1.4 billion crayons.
The revelation is astounding, especially when you consider that workers at PANTONE’s factory require color vision that’s just about perfect. Employees of the color authority will have to take an annual exam to prove that their ability to tell their crimsons apart from their carmines is up to par.
So, how true is this Crayola tidbit? As fact-checker Snopes discovers, it’s not all black and white. There’s a spectrum to colorblindness, of which Crayola’s top crayon maker was just blue-green deficient.
In fact, Moser wasn’t aware there was this side to his sight until he was required by the company to take a physical exam.
The employee wasn’t color-blindsided by what his condition might entail for a crayon maker. He told the Associated Press that “a serious case” of colorblindness meant one could “foul up a lot of materials” at the factory, and that he often second-guessed himself due to his diagnosis.
Luckily, he admitted to UPI that his vision deficiency “really isn’t that bad” and that he was able to work normally. A spokesperson for Binney & Smith told the Associated Press that Moser was “at the top of his trade” in spite of his “handicap.”
Whenever he needed help validating shades, Moser would simply ask his coworkers.
At the end of the day, he proclaimed he was still making “the best crayons in the world.”
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