Andre Cassagnes, who designed the classic children’s toy Etch a Sketch, has died. He was 86. The French electrician, who stumbled upon the Etch a Sketch idea in the 1950s, died on January 16 in Paris, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from toy manufacturer Ohio Art Co.
Ohio Art Co bought the rights to the toy in 1959 and launched it the following year, the Los Angeles Times reported.
More than 100 million Etch a Sketch toys, which still have the grey screen, red frame and two white knobs, have been sold since then, the Guardian reported.
“Etch A Sketch has brought much success to the Ohio Art Company, and we will be eternally grateful to Andre for that. His invention brought joy to so many over such a long period of time,” Larry Killgallon, president of Ohio Art, was quoted as saying.
Cassagnes got the idea for Etch a Sketch “when he peeled a translucent transfer from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face,” the Guardian reported.
Since then millions of children around the world have been drawing on, shaking up and starting again on the toy, whose popularity is likely to endure for generations to come.