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History of Spirograph Puzzle Games by Suzanne Lyon RSS Feed AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Spirograph has a rich and varied history from areas one would not expect.

Bomb detonator inventor discovers Spirograph

British electronic engineer Denys Fisher invented Spirograph in 1962. He was in the process of designing and researching bomb detonators while working for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He worked in England for a family owned business. The company was called King Fisher Engineering. In the process of applying one of his inventions to the industrial world, members of his family caught on to the interesting patterns that occurred and wanted to try marketing the product as a game. In September 17, 2002, Mr. Fisher passed away, but will always be remembered for his great game Spirograph.

Spirograph started out as an educational game

This new game toy was shipped starting in 1965 and in the same year was displayed at the Nuremburg International Toy Fair which made it a big hit. People of all ages and learning levels enjoyed the various colors, shapes, effects and designs/patterns that could be made with a variety of basic plastic gears and colored pens. During the years from 1966 to 1969, Spirograph was considered the best game for educational purposes.

Kenner Toys and then Hasbro made Spirograph known world wide

The relationship between Spirograph and Kenner Toys began in 1966 when the game was marketed to the company. The Steiner family began Kenner towards the beginning of this century. In 1947 Kenner Toys was founded in Cincinnati, OH. The company received it's name from it's location, Kenner Street. Kenner Toys has been through various owners since it's beginnings. General Mills acquired Kenner in 1967, then it was owned by Tonka in 1987 and lastly in 1991, Hasbro Inc. bought Tonka which Kenner Toys was a division of. Throughout these changes the research and development of Kenner remained in Cincinnati. Hasbro Inc. has a longer history being founded in 1923 and located in Providence, RI. Hasbro Inc. dropped the Kenner Toys name in 1999.

The Spirograph game toy is still enjoyed today by all ages and is being used as a mathematics educational tool in schools.

About the Author

Suzanne Lyon works for Softgame Company, maker of card games, video poker and puzzles. She writes articles for the Company web sites.

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