Spirograph

spirograph

Spirograph is a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The term has also been used to describe a variety of software applications that display similar curves, and applied to the class of curves that can be produced with the drawing equipment (so in this sense it may be regarded as a synonym of hypotrochoid).

The name is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Drawing toys based on gears have been around since at least 1908, when The Marvelous Wondergraph was advertised in the Sears catalog. The ‘Boys Mechanic’ publication of 1913 had an article describing how to make a Wondergraph drawing machine. An instrument called a spirograph was invented by the mathematician Bruno Abakanowicz between 1881 and 1900 for calculating an area delimited by curves. The Spirograph toy was developed by the British engineer Denys Fisher, who exhibited it in 1965 at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. In 1968, Kenner introduced Spirotot, a less complex version of Spirograph, for preschool-age children, too young for Spirograph.

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