Bryan, Ohio---Ohio Art Company announced Saturday that Etch A Sketch inventor André Cassagnes has passed due to undisclosed circumstances. He was 86.
The Etch A Sketch was an early handheld tablet device, and the first to achieve significant market share. It was fully portable and had a 7-in. × 5-in. screen with a resolution of approximately 85 lines per inch. Although criticized for its closed architecture, monochrome display, and frequent data loss, it nevertheless became extremely popular due to its affordability and ease of use.
First unveiled by Cassagnes in 1959 under the name L'Ecran Magique, the design was sold to Ohio Art for $25,000, and went on to become the vanguard of a burgeoning, billion-dollar consumer media tablet industry. Fifty years later, it is still being produced at the company's Bryan, Ohio factory in Shenzhen. In March 2012, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign used the iconic device as its symbol of progress and forward-thinking ingenuity.
André is survived by his wife Renée and his three children, Sophie, Patrick, and Jean Claude.