Andre Cassagnes, the inventor of the Etch A Sketch, the toy that spanned generations upon generations of kids and kids at heart which enabled them to draw and then “shake the image away” creating a clean slate and enabling the toy to be used again and again, has died at the age of 86 in France, says Ohio Art, the company that manufactures the famed unit and has done so since 1960.
At first a staple for kids of the baby boomer generation, and then having enough of a popularity to endure strongly today, even in the midst of electronic devices like iPads and the like, which can emulate everything about the toy but its overall charm, the Etch A Sketch in essence enabled the user to be a budding artist. There were no messy paints or myriads of crayons to be used, and the format was relatively simple, utilizing a black line stylus which displaced aluminum powder onto a back of a gray screen either in a horizontal or vertical fashion, as noted by the left and right white knobs on the bottom of the red unit itself. The fun and the trick was seeing what could be done with it. There wasn’t a way to make circular imagery unless one used a certain amount of physics involved to it, and since the line never technically broke and just kept going on the screen, there was the challenge for some to see what kind of realistic, surrealistic, or basically any type of art one could muster up.