Etch-A-Sketch®

Barbara J. Feldman

In the late 1950’s, Arthur Granjean, a French inventor, created a drawing toy in his garage workshop he called L’Ecran Magique (The Magic Screen.) In 1959, he took his toy to the International Toy Fair in Nuremburg, Germany, where he sold it to the The Ohio Art Company. The Magic Screen was renamed the Etch-A-Sketch® , and in 1960 Ohio Art started advertising it on television. It was an immediate hit, and remains a classic still enjoyed by kids today.

  • Etched in Time5 stars

    On a family vacation to Washington D.C., when George Vlosich III was ten-years old, he drew his first Etch-A-Sketch® of the U.S. Capitol building. Since then, his sketching has brought him fame (he's been invited to the White House and been featured on hundreds of news channels) and fortune (some of his Etch-A-Sketches® have fetched thousands of dollars.) Visit to view his gallery and to learn how George creates an Etch-A-Sketch® masterpiece.

  • Inventor of the Week: Arthur Granjean5 stars

    "Given a generation of children who take computer graphics for granted, the Etch-A-Sketch® may seem outmoded. But its appeal is that it is challenging as well as fun. Creating curves by manipulating both knobs at once is a true test of coordination." Invention Dimension (from Lemelson-MIT) honors the inventor of the Etch-A-Sketch® with this one-page history. Other inventors can browsed by subject or alphabetically.

  • Howstuffworks: How does an Etch-A-Sketch® work?5 stars

    "An Etch-A-Sketch® is actually a pretty amazing device! It is essentially a manually operated plotter with a built-in erasing system. ... It is not easy, but you can get inside by removing the outer case and the glass: What you find inside is a stylus mounted on a pair of orthogonal rails. These rails move when you turn the knobs." Howstuffworks takes you inside an Etch-A-Sketch® with great photos and a brief description of how the stylus, pulley system, and aluminum powder work.

  • Ohio Art Company: Etch-A-Sketch®5 stars

    The official Etch-A-Sketch® site has lots of fun Etch-A-Sketch® stuff. Tips & Tricks (click on the question mark in the road sign) has ten tips for improving your sketches. The yellow jigsaw puzzle piece will take you to an interactive Etch-A-Sketch®, along with printable coloring pages, and other games. The yellow ear will transport you to FAQs and Etch-A-Sketch® history. The roving eyeball is my favorite click, because there you can explore the works of fourteen amazing Etch-A-Sketch® artists.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Etch-A-Sketch®." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 5 Jul. 2006. Web. 16 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/etch-a-sketch/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published July 5, 2006. Last modified March 13, 2014.

  • Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids
    Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids
    by Rob Elliott
    (Mass Market Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $0.99

    Little Airport Sticker Activity Book (Dover Little Activity Books Stickers)
    Little Airport Sticker Activity Book (Dover Little Activity Books Stickers)
    by A. G. Smith
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $0.01

    The Etch A Sketch Book
    The Etch A Sketch Book
    by Editors Of Klutz
    (Paperback)
    Price: $49.50