Inventions
Toys

Who invented etch-a-sketch?

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2011-08-22 15:12:01

It was created by Arthur Granjean. See

"http://www.answers.com/topic/arthur-granjean">http://www.answers.com/topic/arthur-granjean.

Granjean originally called it "L'Ecran Magique" ("the magic

screen").

It was licensed by H.W. Winzeler and released as Etch A Sketch

in 1960.

Another answer:

André Cassagnes, an electrician at Lincrusta Company,

conceived of the idea of a mechanical drawing toy using aluminum

powder in a sealed case. (Lincrusta used aluminum powder as a raw

material in its manufacturing process, so Cassagnes was familiar

with its properties and could readily obtain it). He filed a patent

application on the concept in 1957. He also submitted the

concept to an inventors' competition in 1957, where it was

well-received. This encouraged him to seek a manufacturer who could

produce the toy. He was directed to Paul Chaze, the owner of a

plastic injection molding company named MAI.

Chaze agreed to fund development of the device as well as

helping Cassagnes to officially register his patent. Chaze

instructed his accountant, Arthur Granjean, to prepare, file

and pay for the patent on the "tracing device". The patent

application was submitted 28 May 1959, without Cassagnes' knowledge

and under Granjean's name. MAI produced some prototypes and

then licensed the design to a French company, Joustra, which

produced it under the name "Telecran" (the name that Cassagnes used

for the toy) and paid Cassagnes a royalty. It was an immediate

success in France, where it is still sold under that name.

Through a long series of connections, the toy came to the

attention of H. W. Winzeler, president of Ohio Art Company. In

1960, Chaze traveled to Ohio to sell the North and South American

rights to the invention to Ohio Art. In 1965, Chaze and Winzeler

met with Cassagnes. Cassagnes agreed, reluctantly, to relinquish

all rights to the invention, and all future royalties (except in

France), for the sum of $10,000.

Over the course of the next 18 years, Ohio Art paid over $1

million in royalties to Chaze.


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