UK & World News

  • 4 February 2013, 8:39

Etch A Sketch Inventor Andre Cassagnes Dies

Andre Cassagnes, the inventor of the Etch A Sketch toy that kept generations of children entertained, has died aged 86.

The former electrical technician came up with the idea for the toy in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent decal from a light switch plate and found pencil marks transferred to the opposite face.

The Ohio Art Company saw the Etch A Sketch, with its grey screen, red frame and two white knobs that are twisted back and forth to create drawings, at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1959.

It was launched the following year and became the top-selling toy in the US that Christmas. More than 100m have been sold worldwide since.

Larry Killgallon, president of Ohio Art, said: "Etch A Sketch has brought much success to the Ohio Art Company and we will be eternally grateful to Andre for that.

"His invention brought joy to so many over such a long period of time."

Sales of the Etch A Sketch jumped after the toy, which children shake to create new drawings, featured in the first two Toy Story movies.

Mr Cassagnes, who was born near Paris in 1926, passed away in the French capital on January 16, although his death has only just been announced.

He is survived by his wife, Ren? and three children, Sophie, Patrick and Jean Claude.

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