Decorating eggs for Easter is a practice that dates back centuries, but you needn’t go through elaborate measures to join in the fun. For well over a hundred years, the folks at PAAS have offered a variety of inexpensive egg dyeing kits to help kids of all ages partake in this colorful tradition.

The story begins with a man named William Townley, who owned a drug store in New Jersey in the late 1800s. Perhaps feeling festive about an upcoming holiday, he worked to perfect a simple method for coloring hard-boiled eggs using dye tablets that he created in five colors.

Simply drop the tablet in some water and vinegar, submerge an egg into the mixture, and a few minutes later, pull out a beautiful pastel-colored egg. Townley sold the packets to the locals for a nickel and the demand was so strong, he eventually went into business, founding the PAAS Dye Company. He had 27 employees by 1901, and would go on to become the largest manufacturer of Easter egg dyes in the world.

The original kit consisted of a package of five tablets and a wire wand to use for dipping the eggs. These were packaged in a thin cardboard box, with perforated circles cut into to the underside so that the container could double as a handy egg drying tray. Grab some vinegar, boil a dozen eggs, and let the celebration of color begin.

You can still buy the traditional kits to this day, but PAAS has introduced countless variations over the years to enhance to egg-dyeing fun. There are kits themed after cartoon characters, animals and sports, There are stickers, speckles, glitter and tie-dye kits, even markers called Egg Scribblers when you want some personalized detail. Today, you can color your eggs in over twenty different ways, thanks to PAAS.

After giving your eggs a good dunking in a cup of dye, the next step was up to you. You could place them in Easter Baskets or organize a hunt, either outdoors or within the confines of your home, hoping the eggs were colorful enough so that they were found in a timely manner (It’s no fun to find an Easter Egg in July). Whatever you did with your pastel-tinted bounty was up to you. PAAS decorating kits simply ensured that your Easter eggs looked great.

Did you look forward to getting a package of PAAS at the grocery store as a kid? What did you do with your eggs after you colored them? We’d love to hear all of you memories of this product in our comments section below, as we tip our hats to those little pellets that have brought so much joy over the decades.

One Response to “PAAS”

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  1. Gina says:

    I can almost smell the vinegar reading this column!

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