Back to all articles

The History of Coloring Books

The first coloring books were created to teach aristocrats how to paint. The books were made using woodcuts or copper plates, so they were expensive to produce and not usually made for children. However, the invention of the lithograph changed all that. With cheaper production costs, the first children’s coloring book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book, was produced in 1879. It featured art by Kate Greenaway and was intended for use with watercolors or other paints. Crayons didn’t gain popularity until the 1930s, but they eventually replaced paints as the artistic medium of choice for coloring books. Today, coloring books are produced for children and adults alike. Some have educational themes while others are simply meant to be calming.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.