Feb 7, 2013
French toymaker and electrician Andre Cassagnes died on January 16 at the age of 86.
Wikipedia tells the short version of his great invention…
…Cassagnes was performing a routine installation of a factory light switch plate. The plate was wrapped in a translucent decal covering. During the installation, Cassagnes removed the decal and wrote on it with a pencil. He quickly noticed that image transferred to the opposite face of the decal.
Cassagnes tinkered with his discovery, which led to the world’s first prototype of the Etch A Sketch. He called his invention L’Ecran Magique, which is translated as “the Magic Screen.” The toy was first unveiled in 1959 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Nuremberg, West Germany.
Cassagnes later partnered with the American manufacturer Ohio Art Company to further develop the Etch a Sketch into its familiar form. The Ohio Art Company launched the Etch a Sketch in the United States during the 1960 holiday season.
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