How Does an Etch A Sketch Sketch?
An Etch A Sketch.
CREDIT: Creative Commons | Ignacio Icke
In the 1950's Frenchman Arthur Granjean tinkered away in his basement on what he called L'Ecran Magique, the Magic Screen. Voila! He showed the world its first Etch A Sketch at the 1959 Toy Exhibition in Nuremburg, Germany.
Behind the glass screen framed by the familiar red plastic lies a mixture of fine aluminum powder and itsy bitsy plastic beads. The two knobs control a pointy stylus — hidden beneath the glass — that scratches the aluminum off the screen, leaving behind a black trail. Turning the Etch A Sketch upside down and giving it a good shake smooths the powder evenly across the screen, with the help of the plastic beads. Ooh la la!
To save a drawing, the Ohio Art toy manufacturer's technical support team simply says: Don't shake the Etch A Sketch. But Etch A Sketch experts can permanently save true pieces of art by emptying the aluminum out of a frame.
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