Emerson Moser, a senior crayon maker for Crayola, molded approximately 1.4 billion crayons during his 37 year career with the company. Upon retiring, Moser revealed that he was color blind.
What being color blind really means
While any type of color blindness could make crayon production difficult, complete color blindness where someone can only see in shades of gray is extremely rare. About 99% of color blindness is just the inability to distinguish between certain shades of a color or similar colors.
The truth about Emerson Moser’s color blindness
In Moser’s case, he was only slightly blue-green color blind and that wasn’t a problem for Crayola. When he was hired a company doctor detected the color blindness during a physical.
“It’s so slight that if the doctor wouldn’t have tested me, I probably would have never noticed it.” -Emerson Moser
Emerson went on to produce a record 1.4 billion crayons during his career, noting that “When you have shades of one color, you get a little doubt about it. Before you go do anything, you double-check yourself.”
Moser kept his color blindness secret until shortly before retirement.
- Probing Question: What is colorblindness? Rick O. Gilmore, PhD., associate professor of psychology, Penn State University. Overview: This article covers the misconception of the term color blind, it mentions that 99% of people who are color blind only have trouble distinguishing between shades of the same or similar colors but that they aren’t totally unable to see colors.
- A colorblind crayon maker? Crayola retiree says it’s true. Toledo Blade. Overview: This article has several quotes from Emerson Moser and information about how he worked within the company.