The guy who Invented the Etch-A-Sketch Has Died...it wasn't Mittens
André Cassagnes, a French electrical technician who half a century ago invented Etch A Sketch, the mechanical drawing toy that has lately become an American political simile, died on Jan. 16 near Paris. He was 86.
The Ohio Art Company, which makes Etch A Sketch, announced the death.
A chance inspiration involving metal particles and the tip of a pencil led Mr. Cassagnes to develop Etch A Sketch in the late 1950s. First marketed in 1960, the toy — with its rectangular gray screen, red frame and two white knobs — quickly became one of the brightest stars in the constellation of midcentury childhood amusements that included Lincoln Logs and the Slinky.
Etch A Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester in 1998; in 2003, the Toy Industry Association named it one of the hundred best toys of the 20th century. To date, more than 100 million have been sold.