Batteries not included
February 2, 2013 6:13 PM   Subscribe

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, has died aged 86. [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Washington Post]

The Etch A Sketch became available in 1960, launched in the USA by The Ohio Art Company. In 1998, it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Etch A Sketch was manufactured in Ohio until 2001, when production was switched to China. Over 100 million of the original model have been sold to date.

The original patent, and the etch-a-sketch disassembled. The concept and the actual product itself featured in last years US presidential election.

Sailor Moon, the Joker, Mona Lisa, WALL-E and Animal. And previously on MetaFilter.

(n.b. several sources e.g. [1] [2] name the inventor as Arthur Granjean.)
posted by Wordshore (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by jquinby at 6:21 PM on February 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


< shakes screen >
posted by ShutterBun at 6:33 PM on February 2, 2013 [14 favorites]


Awesome toy. So simple yet so engrossing. And you could only see the tiny dot where the stylus met the faceplate, so how it worked was a mystery. Hours of frustration at not being able to draw an angle that didn't resemble a staircase.

A tip of the hat to Ohio Art for assembling a toy you couldn't break no matter how furiously you twirled the knobs.

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posted by wallabear at 6:39 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Granjean was an accountant not the inventor/Patent shenanigans? angle
posted by Bwithh at 6:40 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


.[].
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:40 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aw. I love the Etch, and (ahem) I'm actually pretty damn good at it. I'm no Rembrandt, but, yeah, I'm pretty good at it.

RIP André Cassagnes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:44 PM on February 2, 2013


I could only draw elevator doors. That was it. But they were great elevator doors.

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posted by tommasz at 6:48 PM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:59 PM on February 2, 2013


I never had one though I wanted one:-(
posted by orange swan at 7:00 PM on February 2, 2013


Do you think if his pallbearers shake the heck out of his coffin, he'll get to do it all over again?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:02 PM on February 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


A handy source of aluminum powder for your homemade thermite. As seen on Breaking Bad.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:14 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


On road trips I would black out large swaths of the Etch-A-Sketch screen so I could watch the stylus and the control rods moving about. It took nine hours to get to Grandma and Grandpa's. I could scratch off the entire screen when traffic was bad.
posted by Spatch at 8:14 PM on February 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I had this (knockoff?) style.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:15 PM on February 2, 2013


I had the Magnadoodle, which was inspired by if not quite a knock off.
So many fond memories.
posted by Mezentian at 8:46 PM on February 2, 2013


----------
I I
I O OI
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posted by arcticseal at 9:09 PM on February 2, 2013


        .---------------------------------.
        |                                 |
        |    .-----------------------.    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |           .           |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        |    |                       |    |
        | __ |                       | __ |
        |/  \'-----------------------'/  \|
        |\__/E t c h - A - S k e t c h\__/|
        '---------------------------------'

posted by mazola at 9:43 PM on February 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


This news has left me shaken.
posted by brundlefly at 10:57 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bwithh - good find. A pity that André, the true inventor, looks like he was done out of the patent rights and fair royalties.
posted by Wordshore at 11:04 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 1:16 AM on February 3, 2013


I've got my old Etch-A-Sketch just a few feet from me...still works after decades. I also used to have a Tyco Doodle Dome, but that fell off a shelf and broke...

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posted by foonly at 1:27 AM on February 3, 2013


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posted by radwolf76 at 1:29 AM on February 3, 2013


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:11 AM on February 3, 2013


Mitt Romney's favorite toy!
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on February 3, 2013


So simple yet so engrossing. And you could only see the tiny dot where the stylus met the faceplate, so how it worked was a mystery.

I got to see this by accident. I wanted to see how big a filled-in rectangle I could draw. As I did so, the powder was cleared away from the center of the rectangle so I could see the mechanism underneath.
posted by Jpfed at 7:51 PM on February 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually did pretty cool Celtic designs with Etch-A-Sketch. I loved my Etch-A-Sketch

:(

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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:01 PM on February 3, 2013


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