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“Color Fort Pierce Beautiful” - an Event to Honor Edwin Binney, the Inventor of Crayola Crayons and Former Fort Pierce Resident

Fort Pierce Art Club
Edwin Binny
Edwin Binny

Fort Pierce - Thursday March 28, 2024: The Fort Pierce Art Club will present “Color Fort Pierce Beautiful” a fun, artful event Honoring Edwin Binney (1866 – 1934), founder of Binney & Smith/Crayola and an important figure in the history of Fort Pierce.

The event will be held at the Riverwalk Community Center, 600 North Indian River Drive, in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce on Saturday, March 30, from 10 am until 2 pm.

Admission is free, and attendees will have a chance to have a “Mini Crayola Crayon Experience” and learn more about one of Fort Pierce’s most famous and colorful residents, Edwin Binney, and his contributions to the Treasure Coast. 

Learn more about the event on the WQCS weekly community affairs program IN FOCUS HERE.

The free event will include hands-on activities for kids and adults alike. Attendees will be able to express their creativity and experience a day of fun, as they learn more about the amazing history of the region. 

There will be an Edwin Binney Look-Alike Contest with the judging being done by the children. Contestants who think they look like Edwin Binney should submit their photo to

St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council will be there providing free books for children. 

The St. Lucie County Historical Society and the Fort Pierce Art Club will have a display at the event of his local contributions as many people are not aware of Edwin Binney, the inventor of the Crayola Crayon, and his contributions to the region as a local resident in Fort Pierce. He was a significant inventor and a prominent figure in the history of Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County and beyond. 

Binney was born in Shrub Oak, New York where as an adult he took control of his father's business, Peekskill Chemical Company. While experimenting with a mixture of slate waste, cement, and talc Binney created the first dustless white chalk. The invention was awarded a gold medal at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. 

Binney went on to co-found the Binney and Smith company, now named Crayola, where he produced the first box of Crayola Crayons in 1903. His wife created the name of the brand by combining elements of two words: craie (French for "chalk") and ola or "oily", since the crayons were made using a petroleum based wax. In 1984, Hallmark purchased the company and today they continue to create more art products for both children and adults around the world. 

Beyond his business endeavors, Binney demonstrated his love for Florida's wildlife, citrus groves, farming, fishing, and boating. His contributions include his pivotal role in making Fort Pierce a port city. 

Binney financed the dredging of the inlet to accommodate larger vessels and expanded the Port of Fort Pierce. He saved the local bank from going under during the depression. He also donated significant tracts of land for community use including property to the north of the port for a community park, property where the Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station is located, and the Fort Pierce Sea Scouts where the Pelican Yacht Club now resides.

A new portrait of Edwin Binney will be on display with Artist Bezo signing and selling prints. Special guests include Edwin Binney's family and representatives from Corporate CRAYOLA. 

Come learn about the Man of Color who helped to create a beautiful Fort Pierce. For more information, email or 772-579-1529. 

The day’s event is sponsored by the Fort Pierce Art Club, Inc, CRAYOLA, Florida Division of Arts & Culture, St. Lucie Children’s Services, and the City of Fort Pierce. The Downtown Business Association will also be participating with colorful displays mixing crayons and Easter together in their window.. 

The Fort Pierce Art Club, Inc. is a 501(c)3 incorporated in 1966. It was first established in the 1950’s with A. E. Backus as its first president who was a friend of Edwin Binney’s family.

Fort Pierce Art Club