One of the most popular episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is the program in which Mister Rogers watches a video showing how crayons are made. Binney & Smith was producing a batch of yellow crayons—Fred’s favorite color. The video is available through the Fred Rogers Center’s online exhibit, and although it originally aired in 1981, viewers still request it today.
In 1996, Rogers traveled back to the Binney & Smith factory in Easton, Pennsylvania to pour the 100 billionth Crayola crayon. The special crayon was in the limited-edition color Blue Ribbon, and the commemorative replica that Fred received at the event is housed in the Fred Rogers Archive.
Mister Rogers often incorporated crayons into Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood segments. Although he frequently used them for drawing, he also showed how they could be used in other creative ways. Once he made puppets out of spoons and crayons. In the early 1970s, when Lady Elaine Fairchilde was exploring outer space, she used crayons to draw what she was seeing and communicate with the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. On Earth, Mister Rogers and Betty Aberlin used crayons to make rubbings of leaves and other items. Fred knew that crayons were recognizable, and important, objects to children; therefore, he enjoyed showing their many uses on the program.