Talk:Etch A Sketch

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History needs a total rewrite[edit]

It looks as if someone plagiarized the history section from someone else, necessitating a total rewrite of it. -HuBmaN!!!! 17:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I've got refrences listed now from a credible source.


Are the screens actually glass? Seems like a bad idea for a kid's toy. I thought it was plastic, or at least plastic-coated on the outside.

While a Pocket Etch-A-Sketch is pictured, it's not mentioned. Also, I'm guessing it doesn't use a glass screen. -Keith D. Tyler (AMA) 01:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

"Filling in large "black" areas will allow enough light through to expose parts of the interior (see picture)." What picture is this referring to? Was a picture removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mamashtakah (talkcontribs) 10:32, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

mercury content?[edit]

It seems to me the early ones had a plate-glass screen with liquid mercury inside. No mention of that in the article, so I wonder if it's true.Landroo 13:18, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I did a brief Google search for "Etch-A-Sketch" and "mercury" and found quite a few anecdotal stories about breaking the glass and having mercury leaking out, but nothing definitive so far. I do remember when my sister put a chair leg on the screen, sat on it and broke it open. I was convinced at the time that the silver liquid that ran all over the floor in little balls was liquid mercury. I don't know any other substance that looks like that.Landroo (talk) 16:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I personally remember getting mercury out of a broken one and playing with it as a kid. It was real mercury. We let it roll around our school desktops and we even coated silver dimes with it to make an amalgam. This would have been around the early 70's. We played with it on our desks at school and used our bare hands. Somehow we survived without any bad effects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

^Patent 3055113, linked to on the page, specifies the use of POWDER. Furthermore the "distinctive" property of liquid mercury to form droplets would make it unsuited for an EtchASketch. You may be confusing the 80's maze games that did have a drop of mercury inside. -- (talk) 22:35, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Inventor of the Etch A Sketch[edit]

Moved from the article page, from the 'History' section of the article, I thought the talk page would be a better place for a discussion about this, Key to the city 13:11, 2 December 2007 (UTC):

This history may be in conflict with the companies official story at which indicates the inventor was Andre Cassagnes. A more thorough investigation of history may be necessary.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2 December 2007

Don't know why they say that, when so many other sources list Granjean as the creator. Here are another sources:,

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2 December 2007

I can understand other sources all having the same story, but who's to say it's the correct story? I would think the company who actually purchased the rights to the product and perfected it for sale would have the more correct story. I guess a contact will have to be made with the company to help sort this out. I'll try to make contact myself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Real History verified by the Ohio Art Company

I contacted the Ohio Art Company and received the following reply from

"Here is the real story: We thought that Arthur Grandjean at one time was the inventor but now have the full story. Here you are."

Attached to the email were two documents, here is the text of the first:

November, 2006 Background Info André Cassagnes, Etch A Sketch® Inventor

D.O.B. September 23, 1926

P.O.B. Paris Suburb

Residence: 218 Rue Gabriel Peri, Vitry-Sur-Seine (southern Paris suburb), France 94400 Telephone: 33-1-46-80-63-79

Work Experience: 1944 - Parent’s Bakery – Age 18 1946-1986 - Electrician Lincrusta Co. (Division of Rhone Poulenc [chemicals], French manufacturer of artificial seat and picture frame coverings that utilized aluminum powder in the production process)

Education: Certificat d’Etudes

Married: Children: Sophie, Patrick, Jean Claude Wife: Reneé (Accountant at Lincrusta Co.)

Inventions: 1955 – Teleguide, a system to guide metal cars on a track 1957 – Etch A Sketch®/Telecran, flat screen drawing toy concept 1960-70’s – Mechanical games 1976-Present – Kite construction 1980’s – SkeDoodle, globe screen drawing toy concept

Interests: Practical applications Mechanical design Geometric patterns Symmetrical designs Inventor Kite designer

Here is the text of the second:


Some time between 1955-56, at about 30 years of age, André Cassagnes, an electrician at Lincrusta Company, Vitry-Sur-Seine, France, was installing a factory light switch plate that was covered with a translucent decal. After peeling the decal from the light switch plate, Cassagnes made some pencil marks on the decal face and noticed that the image transferred to the opposite face; thus, the origin of the idea to create a drawing toy.

Cassagnes experimented with various materials and drawing systems before deciding on a pointed joy stick to make the image; glass because it is transparent and aluminum powder because that raw material was being used in the Lincrusta Company production process and readily available to him. Later, in early 1960, Cassagnes collaborated with Jerry Burger, Chief Engineer, The Ohio Art Company, and between the two of them, perfected the two-knob and horizontal/vertical pulley system that is still incorporated in the Etch A Sketch®.

Cassagnes applied for a patent application on the drawing toy concept paying the equivalent of about $75 U.S. and in 1957 entered his concept in the Paris Concurs International D’Inventions winning a prize that motivated him to want to publish his patentable concept. However, Cassagnes did not have the equivalent of about $200 U.S. that was required to pay to have the patent registered as his earnings were being fully consumed raising a family.

During 1957-58 time frame, after deciding upon a satisfactory design, Cassagnes sought advice on potential manufacturers of his concept. He initially presented his proposal to Nion Company, a plastic injection molder, located in his hometown of Vitry. Philippe Mayer, who later became involved in distributing the Telecran Drawing Toy and, who introduced Bill and Susan Killgallon to André Cassagnes in June, 2006, coincidently worked for Nion Company.

Nion Company management had no interest in producing the drawing toy concept for Cassagnes, but did refer him to Paul Chaze, owner of another smaller plastic injection molding company named MAI. This company produced automatic cigarette rolling devices and was also conveniently located. MAI produced the initial tracing device samples.

Paul Chaze agreed to invest in and produce the initial tooling as well as agreeing to loan Cassagnes the funds to officially register his patent. Not being familiar with legal matters, Cassagnes permitted Chaze to prepare and send the paperwork on 5/28/59 to the French Ministre De L’Industrie. Unbeknown to Cassagnes at the time, Chaze instructed his accountant, Arthur Grandjean, to file and pay for the “tracing device” patent, which is why Grandjean’s name appears on the French #1,242,370 and U.S. #3,055,113 “Letters Patent” certificates. Grandjean soon thereafter assigned the French patent rights to Paul Chaze, who proceeded to arrange for the manufacture, marketing and licensing of the drawing toy

Cassagnes conceived the name “Telecran” due to the recent availability of television sets for the French consumer as the spelling was similar; both had a screen and two knobs; the images were black/white and both screens could be cleared of images. He never considered other names for his new drawing toy and Telecran is still the trademark used on the drawing toys sold in France.

Chaze licensed the French manufacturing and marketing rights to Joustra, and Philippe Mayer eventually managed that toy company until his retirement. Cassagnes was paid a royalty on Telecran sales originated by Joustra.

Chaze also made a verbal commitment to Mayer that Mayer would be the America’s licensing agent for this new toy concept since Mayer was known to toy executives. Mayer later learned that Chaze traveled to New York City in early1960 and, while dining at a restaurant popular with the toy industry crowd, Chaze’s conversation about his new tracing device was overheard by Irwin “Barney” Barnett, who was seated nearby. Barnett introduced himself and persuaded Chaze to engage him as Chaze’s U.S. licensing agent for 20% of Chaze’s royalty income. Barnett obtained product presentation meetings for Chaze at numerous toy companies, but all turned the concept down for different reasons … the main one being Chaze’s $100,000 advance royalty stipulation!

One of Barnett’s family members was related to Don Robertson, an employee at The Ohio Art Company in Bryan, Ohio, and Barnett phoned Robertson to find out the appropriate Ohio Art contact. Robertson referred the inquiry to W. C. Killgallon, Vice President Sales, who soon thereafter went to New York City to meet with Chaze and Barnett. After seeing the “magic screen,” Killgallon realized that it was the same concept which H. W. Winzeler, Ohio Art’s President, had written him about from Nuremburg, Germany.

In late 1959, Lew A. Marcus of Coburg, Germany had discussed the concept with Chaze and Marcus mentioned the toy tracing device to a Zurich acquaintance, Achim Dittmar, who, in turn, on January 8, 1960 in Nuremburg, mentioned it to his friend, H. W. “Howie” Winzeler, President of The Ohio Art Company. Dittmar described the toy tracing device as “hot” and he also persuaded Chaze to travel to Ohio to meet with Winzeler some time in mid-January, 1960, which is why Chaze stopped over in New York City. In return for introducing Chaze to Winzeler, Winzeler entered into an agreement with Dittmar that entitled him to 5% royalty on Ohio Art’s sales of the toy tracing device providing Ohio Art and Chaze signed a license agreement. Some time in the latter part of the decade, Winzeler bought out the Dittmar agreement for an unknown dollar sum.

On January 27, 1960 Chaze traveled to Bryan, Ohio where he consummated an agreement with Winzeler whereby the North and South America rights to the toy tracing device were granted to Ohio Art for an advance of $3,000. This original, single page, hand written agreement (later formalized) contained a heading, “This is a Contract.”

Sometime in 1965, Chaze contacted Cassagnes and invited him to a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland with Winzeler. During the course of this meeting between the three individuals, Chaze persuaded Cassagnes to relinquish all rights (which Cassagnes may or may not own) in the toy tracing device patent and all rights to future Etch A Sketch® royalties (except France). Reluctantly (for reasons unknown), Cassagnes agreed to the terms and received the equivalent of $10,000 U.S. although he did continue to receive royalty income from Telecran sales by Joustra.

Thereafter, for 18 years, Ohio Art paid over a million dollars in royalties to the Chaze Family and Bartra combined. Winzeler and Chaze became close friends until Chaze’s death in the mid-1960’s.

Barnett also introduced the successful Magnastix™ construction toy to Ohio Art a few years after the introduction of Etch A Sketch®.

The Ohio Art working name for this new tracing device was “Magic Screen”, but some time between January, 1960 and the product’s introduction in Spring time, the name was changed to Etch A Sketch® or Magic Etch A Sketch® Screen.

W. C. Killgallon and Don Dean, Art Director, conceived the trademark, which eventually became world reknown. The U.S. trademark registration #725,595 was issued December 26, 1961. In 1960, Ohio Art shipped 607,176 Etch A Sketches® following the start of production in Ohio Art’s Bryan, Ohio factory on July 12, 1960.

Ohio Art promoted the Etch A Sketch® drawing toy on television in 1960 using a commercial that featured a young girl character named “Pernella.” This commercial was one of the first-ever toy products promoted on television in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s and the first Ohio Art product to utilize this media vehicle to advertise to children and their parents.

Origins of EAS12/06 (Disk)

I believe somebody (other than me) should re-write the history on the article page. These facts can be verified by contacting the Ohio Art Company. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I've had a stab at this - I summarised most of the above as "a complex series of negotiatons". The information here is very useful although we can't use it as a direct source, because firstly it could be fabricated, and secondly it would be original research. However, the company's official history[1] most definitely names Cassagnes as the creator. I guess this means that the article on Arthur Granjean will need to be rewritten or perhaps even deleted (it would amount to "Arthur Granjean was a French accountant whose name appears on the original patent for Etch-a-Sketch. He was not however the inventor. He is not famous for anything else.") -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 17:50, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Other Models?[edit]

I remember when I was a kid I had a model with a large white square button in between the knobs. When pressed down it would move the stylus back in the Z-axis so you could move it without removing any of the aluminum powder -- basically letting you "skip" over parts to start drawing at other places. Anyone have any information on that model? Like a name or something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Aluminum powder[edit]

Nice explanation but how exactly does that aluminum powder adhere to the screen without falling off? Is there some electrostatic adhesion? -Rolypolyman (talk) 19:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

The powder sticks to everything, which is why it sticks to the screen.

Jane, 24 February 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


These are only Etch A Sketches by name only, especially the Animator 2000. They deserve their own page, because these electronic "Etch A Sketch" machines were developed to combat the competetors- Nintendo, Atari, Sega (which is why the 2000 played games, and technically was a PORTABLE video game system, debuting a year BEFORE Game Boy or Linx and 2 years before Game Gear!!-- (talk) 02:09, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

True, very true. They're probably lumped in because they're electronic versions that you can draw pictures on. Yes, the 2000 played games, like you said to compete with electronic companies, but I think it just needs more info added to the main part, keeping it part of the original.2602:304:CFD3:2EE0:7C3D:5D46:E762:1F8D (talk) 05:30, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Republican Race, 2012[edit]

The paragraph is well done. Congrats, Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 13:59, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

what happened?[edit]

what happened to this paragraph?

Problem with the official website[edit]

In the information box, the "Official Website" links to Shake It Up America, which is a political organization, rather than the Ohio Art website. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 9 August 2012 (UTC)


on Agilent DSOX2000 series... (talk) 14:02, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Moving this here from article[edit]

This section is unsourced, barely relevant, and takes up far too much space in the article. This entire cruft dump might be worth one or two sentences in an "In popular culture" section, but it is not worthy of its own section.

__Toy Story Trilogy__

In the Disney/Pixar Toy Story trilogy, Andy Davis owns an Etch A Sketch.

In Toy Story, Etch is first seen engaging in a quick gun duel with Sheriff Woody. Woody described Etch as having the "fastest knobs in the west." After Buzz Lightyear was introduced, Etch took a liking to him like the rest of Andy's toys. When Woody saw him making a drawing of Buzz, he immediately shook Etch up to erase it and then threw him aside. Later, when Woody got in trouble for accidentally knocking Buzz out of a bedroom window, Mr. Potato Head had Etch draw a hangman noose and threatened to hang him. This proved possible that Etch was one of the many toys that went against Woody and saw him as guilty for knocking Buzz out of the window. However, when Woody attempted to save Buzz with RC, Etch attacked him, along with all the others, and proceeded to throw Woody out of the moving van, after thinking that Woody was trying to "'murder" RC by kicking him out of the van. At the end of the film, he is seen celebrating with the toys and listening to Sarge, on what presents Andy had got for Christmas.

In Toy Story 2, Etch was first seen helping Buzz, Hamm and the others by drawing Woody's kidnapper. At first, the toys struggled in figuring out who the thief was and had Etch draw several men who are possible suspects. However, after Buzz figured out the abbreviated letters on the man's license plate, Etch, told by Buzz, drew the man in a chicken costume, revealing it to be Al McWhiggin of Al's Toy Barn, upon his own and everyone else's shock. When Rex and the other toys surfed through television channels to find the location of the store, Etch was seen watching with them, and then drew a very elaborate map on how to get there so the toy could rescue Woody. After the toys returned home from their mission, they stood on Andy's bed to await his arrival back home. They used Etch, who drew a message "Welcome home, Andy," to welcome Andy back home with new toys Jessie, Bullseye and The Aliens. Etch last appeared one more time at the end of the film when the toys listened to Wheezy sing "You've Got a Friend in Me", using Mike the Microphone as a karaoke machine.

In Toy Story 3, Etch appeared briefly at the opening in the home videos. Many years later, It was revealed by Woody that he was sold over the time span between the second and third film, along with Wheezy and Bo Peep.

If no one thinks this is worthy of inclusion, that's great. If someone insists it is worthy, please pare it down to the essentials, find some reliable third party sources, learn how to properly format titles of films, and replace it. It does not belong in the article as-is. (talk) 19:35, 13 February 2016 (UTC)