Etch A Sketch!

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May 22, 2020

Nearly 61 years ago, on July 23, 1959, a patent application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the iconic and wildly popular Etch A Sketch toy. The patent was later issued on September 25, 1962 as US Patent No. 3,055,113 titled Tracing Device.

The Etch A Sketch toy was invented in the mid 1950s by a French electrician who originally named the toy The Magic Screen. Lacking funds initially, the inventor obtained financial assistance from an investor to file patent applications in France and the United States in 1959. That same year, he presented the toy at an international toy fair in Nuremburg, Germany where it finally caught the attention of The Ohio Art Comapny.

The Ohio Art Company eventually licensed the toy and launched it in the United States under the Etch A Sketch name during the holiday season in 1960 where it became an almost immediate commercial success -- and still is to this day.

In 1988, The Ohio Art Company received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 4,764,763) for an electronic, and much less successful version of the Etch A Sketch, marketed as the Etch A Sketch Animator 2000.

In 1998, the original Etch A Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.