We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: B.155:1 to 35-2011
Find out about our images

Not currently on display at the V&A

Spirograph

Spirograph
1967 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Spirograph was invented by Denys Fisher who first exhibited it at Nuremberg International Toy Fair in 1965, although similar geometric drawing toys had been manufactured before. It was picked up by Kenner for the American market in 1966 and soon became an international phenomenon that is still manufactured today.
The toy consists of a set of plastic gears, rings and straight bars, each surrounded by teeth to enable them to engage with each other. One of the pieces, the stator, is pinned to a piece of paper and another, the rotor, is placed so its teeth engage with the pinned piece, with a pen placed in one of the rotor's holes. The rotor is moved by pushing the pen, creating a curved geometric pattern, technically known as a hypotrochoid (when drawn inside a circle) or epitrochoid (drawn around the outside).
The original game won several awards, including Educational Toy of the Year in the UK, Design Idea of the Month in US Design News magazine and Artistic Toy Oscar in Paris. It was the basis for the Denys Fisher Toys company, which was eventually bought by Hasbro in the 1980s.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 35 parts.

  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
  • Toys (Recreational Artifacts)
Brief Description
Spirograph geometric drawing toy from Denys Fisher Toys, England, 1967
Credit line
Given by Raymond Harris
Object history
This spirograph set was given to the donor for Christmas in 1967. He was born in 1954 and brought up in Bournemouth.
Summary
Spirograph was invented by Denys Fisher who first exhibited it at Nuremberg International Toy Fair in 1965, although similar geometric drawing toys had been manufactured before. It was picked up by Kenner for the American market in 1966 and soon became an international phenomenon that is still manufactured today.

The toy consists of a set of plastic gears, rings and straight bars, each surrounded by teeth to enable them to engage with each other. One of the pieces, the stator, is pinned to a piece of paper and another, the rotor, is placed so its teeth engage with the pinned piece, with a pen placed in one of the rotor's holes. The rotor is moved by pushing the pen, creating a curved geometric pattern, technically known as a hypotrochoid (when drawn inside a circle) or epitrochoid (drawn around the outside).

The original game won several awards, including Educational Toy of the Year in the UK, Design Idea of the Month in US Design News magazine and Artistic Toy Oscar in Paris. It was the basis for the Denys Fisher Toys company, which was eventually bought by Hasbro in the 1980s.
Collection
Accession Number
B.155:1 to 35-2011

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 23, 2012
Record URL