Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

A Town Like Bryan

Etch a Sketch

I don’t usally do obituaries but the passing away of Etch A Sketch inventor, André Cassagnes, seemed worthy of mention. Not least because Etch A Sketch, the internationally famous drawing aid, was manufactured in Bryan, Willians County, Ohio by the Ohio Art Company. Not a lot of people know that. And my name is Bryan, for those who haven’t worked out the connection.

So, André Cassagnes is dead. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. No doubt there will be those who miss him. Expect he’s gone to a far better place. Anyway, that’s quite enough about him, let’s get back to me.

There can’t be so many people have towns blessed with the same name as theirs.  I bet there isn’t a town called André, for instance, even though he did invent something.  But, to the best of my knowledge – and to humanity’s great loss – there appeared to be only two towns named Bryan at the latest count. The other is in Texas. That’s two more than named André.

Though I could easily be persuaded to think otherwise, I’m fairly sure neither of them were named after me. Nor was I named after them, it’s just two of those wonderful coincidences that make our planet such a fascinating place to live. Compared with Uranus or Pluto, to pick two planets at random. Not that Pluto can be called a planet anymore. And nobody would like to have to say they lived on Uranus.

Etch A Sketches are now made in China. Coincidence being what it is, they’re made in a town called Blaian. I made that bit up, not being able to resist it. They’re really being made in Shenzan in the province of Canton, not that anybody’s ever going to ask you where Etch A Sketches are made. But, at least you now know. Should anybody indeed ask.

Anyway, I just thought you might all like a taste of  how sweet Bryan is, so here is a little bit more  information which sums up what a great place it is to live, or visit, when you next find yourself in northwest Ohio with nothing better to do.

Spangler Candy Store and Museum

Sangler Candy Store and Museum in Bryan, just 20 minutes southwest of Archbold, is an especially sweet stop in Northwest Ohio. Spangler Candy has been making confections since 1908, and they’ve been selling their signature candy, Dum Dum Pops, since 1953. Spangler also makes Saf-T-Pop, a toddler-safe lollipop, and Circus Peanuts, a marshmallow treat shaped like a peanut. Take a walk through the museum to learn about Spangler’s history, and stop by the store to pick up some treats for the ride home. Visitors can also hop aboard the Dum Dum Trolley for a tour of the factory.

The store and museum are open in June, July and August from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from September to May from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The store and museum are free to the public. However, there is a fee for the trolley tour which operates on a first come, first serve basis.

Read more: Fun Things to Do in NW Ohio 


2 comments on “A Town Like Bryan

  1. Bryan Hemming
    February 4, 2013

    As a child I always wanted one, but got bored within five minutes when I was givin one to play with. In those far-off days black and white tellys were still weird and wonderful things, so Etch a Sketch could seem like drawing on the telly. Only for a bit though.

    I rather liked this tweet by @GuyEndoreKaiser “We must hope that, Mr Cassagnes will be solemnly cremated, then shaken vigorously until he entirely disappears.”


  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    February 4, 2013

    Lovely, Bryan – & relevant to me because Daniel LOVED his etcher sketch. He LOVED It.

    Never knew the name of the inventor though. And would not have known he died. See how easy it is, people live and die every day, unnoticed.


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This entry was posted on February 3, 2013 by in Humour and tagged , , .

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