The inventor of the Etch A Sketch, the mechanical drawing toy that has been a firm favourite for generations of children, has died aged 86.
André Cassagnes passed away in Paris on 16 January, the toy manufacturer Ohio Art Company said. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
"Etch A Sketch has brought much success to the Ohio Art Company, and we will be eternally grateful to André for that. His invention brought joy to so many over such a long period of time," said Larry Killgallon, the president of Ohio Art.
Cassagnes, an electrical technician, developed the idea for the Etch A Sketch in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent transfer from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face.
The toy was unveiled at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1959, where it was spotted by Ohio Art who launched it a year later. More than 100 million have been sold since its creation.
The Etch A Sketch is known for its grey screen and red frame, with two white knobs that can be twisted back and forth to create drawings. Shaking the device erases the image.
It was inducted into the US National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998 for its enduring popularity. The American Toy Industry Association named it as one of the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.