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Andres Cassagnes
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Inventor
    (September 23, 1926-January 16, 2013)
    Born in Paris, France
    Electrician and kite designer
    Invented the Etch a Sketch (1958)
    He originally worked in the family bakery but developed an allergy to flour.
    He lacked the money to file for a patent, so he turned to an investor, whose treasurer, Arthur Granjeans, filled out the forms. As a result, Granjeans has sometimes been misidentified as the Etch a Sketch’s inventor, including at the National Toy Hall of Fame.
    The Etch a Sketch was great for drawing vertical and horizontal lines, but if you had low manual dexterity, diagonals and curves came out all spastic looking.
    His invention became a political metaphor when one of Mitt Romney’s aides explained how the candidate would return to the center for the general election after tacking rightward for the primaries: ‘Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.’
    The first year that the Ohio Art Company began marketing the Etch a Sketch in America, it sold 600,000 units (1960).
    Total sales worldwide topped 100 million.
    An Etch a Sketch was included in the ‘Toy Story’ movies.
    The Toy Industry Association included the Etch a Sketch on its Century of Toys list, honoring the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.

Credit: C. Fishel


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