Can’t help wondering how many people of my generation know who Andre Cassagnes was, despite the fact that many will have played for hours as children with his iconic toy invented in the late 50’s: the Etch A Sketch
Andre has died at the age of 86 and whilst reading this sad news I couldn’t help but smile in fond memory of his invention.
Unfortunately I can’t see today’s kids looking back fondly on anything! I doubt that they own a toy (or gadget) long enough to get any emotional attachment to them, nor do I think they will remember one from another in years to come such is the amount of stuff that they seem to get through these days.
The Etch A Sketch was iconic for sure, but for me also very symbolic or simpler, less greedy times: a present on your birthday and again at Christmas. Hours spent occupying yourself with your toy(s) fabricating stories and worlds in your own mind to explore.
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 100 million have been sold worldwide since. Source: Sky News