Look How 30 Years of Automation Changed How Crayons Are Made

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” showed how people made crayons. Today, crayon-making is a robot’s job

Forty years ago Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood took kids on a behind-the-scenes tour of Crayola's crayon factory in Easton, Pa. The episode was a way to show kids how a familiar toy was made, but three decades later the clip, above, shows something else—the radical transformation of manufacturing, brought on by automation and robotics.

A few months ago, Wired took a tour of Crayola's updated Easton plant. In Mister Rogers' clip we can see dozens of assembly line workers, people whose job it was to move, sort, pack and pour. Now, most of those positions have been replaced.

According to recent research, says Motherboard, as many as “47 percent of US jobs were at risk from the robot takeover,” with positions in “administrative support, transportation, sales and services, construction, and manufacturing as among the most high-risk from technology.”