André Cassagnes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
André Cassagnes
Born (1926-09-23)September 23, 1926
near Paris, France
Died January 16, 2013(2013-01-16) (aged 86)
near Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for Etch A Sketch
A model of Etch A Sketch created by André Cassagnes.

André Cassagnes (September 23, 1926 – January 16, 2013) was a French inventor, electrical technician, toymaker, and kite designer. Cassagnes is best known as the inventor of the Etch A Sketch, a popular mechanical drawing toy manufactured since 2016 by Spin Master, formerly by the Ohio Art Company.[1]

Cassagnes was born outside Paris, France, on September 23, 1926.[1] His parents owned and operated a bakery, where he worked as a teenager.[1] An allergy to flour forced him to seek another line of work,[2] and he became an electrician for the Lincrusta Company, a French manufacturer which produced picture frame covers using an aluminum powder.[1]

In one instance, Cassagnes was performing a routine installation of a factory light switch plate.[1] The plate was wrapped in a translucent decal covering.[1] During the installation, Cassagnes removed the decal and wrote on it with a pencil. He quickly noticed that image transferred to the opposite face of the decal.[1] Cassagnes tinkered with his discovery, which led to the world's first prototype of the Etch A Sketch. He called his invention L'Ecran Magique, which is translated as "the Magic Screen."[1] The toy was first unveiled in 1959 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Nuremberg, West Germany.[1] Cassagnes later partnered with the American manufacturer Ohio Art Company to further develop the Etch a Sketch into its familiar form.[1] The Ohio Art Company launched the Etch a Sketch in the United States during the 1960 holiday season.[1]

Cassagnes was also a well known kite designer and inventor in France. This was his main occupation but remained a hobby; he specialized in the creation of original modular kites throughout the 1980s.[1] A 1992 article in Kite Lines magazine described him then as "the most famous kitemaker in France."[2] He also invented several mechanical games: the Teleguide, which guides metal cars onto a track; and the SkeDoodle, a conceptual toy in which users draw images onto a globe-shaped screen.[1]

Cassagnes died in a suburb of Paris on January 16, 2013, at the age of 86, according to a report from the Toy Industry Association (TIA).[1][3][4] He lived with his wife, Renée, and their three children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Etch A Sketch Creator Dies". Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  2. ^ a b Nelson, Valerie (2013-02-02). "Andre Cassagnes dies; Etch A Sketch inventor was 86". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  3. ^ "André Cassagnes, Creator of Etch A Sketch, Dies at the Age of 86". Toy Industry Association. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  4. ^ Fashingbauer Cooper, Gael (2013-02-01). "Etch A Sketch inventor dies at 86". NBC News. Retrieved 2013-02-02.