A Brief History of the Etch-A-Sketch

Invented in the 1950s, the Etch-A-Sketch has been delighting children (and some adults too!) for decades. This simple toy is a great way to pass the time, and it’s also a lot of fun. But where did the Etch-A-Sketch come from?

Let’s take a brief look at the history of this classic toy.

The Etch-A-Sketch was invented by French electronics engineer André Cassagnes. Inspired by the way that his young daughter drew on a metal plate with a piece of charcoal, he created a prototype for the Etch-A-Sketch using two rotating disks mounted in a frame. The disks had a coating of aluminum powder, and when they were turned, they left a line on the screen.

Cassagnes took his invention to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany in 1959, where it was spotted by Arthur Granjean of Ohio Art Company. Granjean bought the rights to produce the Etch-A-Sketch for $25,000, and it quickly became a bestseller in the United States. The toy was especially popular during the 1960s and 1970s, and it remains popular to this day.
The next time you pick up an Etch-A-Sketch, remember that you’re holding a piece of history! This classic toy has been around for over 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down. So have some fun – etch away!