You probably won’t see his name mentioned in the same sentence as Van Gogh or Cezanne (accept this one), but Andre Cassagnes may well have done more to inspire young artists. The French inventor of the Etch A Sketch died last month at the age of 86, according to an announcement made over the weekend.
The classic toy, now equally known for its place in pop culture, has sold over 100 million units since it was first introduced more than half a century ago. “In 1959, drawing mediums were not as clean as they are today,” said Tim Walsh, author of Timeless Toys. “Etch-a-Sketch offered kids a way to be creative without any mess from sticky crayons, dusty chalk or pencils. It was way ahead of it’s time in terms of laptop fun.”