Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Earlier than Spirograph? Of Course! Magic Pattern and a Box Full of Tiny Drawings

Click to Grow and Show!

You may think there could be nothing more trite on an art blog than a post on the Spirograph, a toy Kenner claimed rights to, and I guess they did and do. This, however, is the "Magic Pattern" from Japan, which has no date but from the box it certainly goes back earlier than the tiresome plastic gears on the Kenner toy I had as a kid. They always slipped JUST as I was finishing a design.

There was earlier a cool drawing thing known as "Hoot-Nanny" in 1929, shown HERE on Peabody Penquin's Spirograph collection site...and the 1960 or so "Dizzy Doodler" is fairly common. There was also apparently an even earlier child's toy called "The Marvelous Wondergraph" shown in the 1908 Sears catalog. However, no one has contributed THIS box to the Universal Brain yet, so here you go.

What is FAR more fascinating to me is the over 100 teeny tiny drawings I found inside the box under the rickety machine. Not bad, eh? Trippy! They are so beautiful, I'd love to frame each one individually...but anyone who saw them would sneer "oh...spirograph."

Magic Pattern Japanese Toy (Box, Metal and Wood Drawing Machine) and 100 original drawings, circa? 1930? Collection Jim Linderman


  1. Beautiful. I can easily see these being used as ornamentation in publications.

  2. Brought back some neat memories. Thanks for the post, I wish I could look at the teeny drawings. TF