Spirograph was invented by Denys Fisher, a British Engineer. It is made up of plastic cog wheels, with rails and circles for them to run along and around. The Spirograph’s wheels are of different diameters, with holes for the pen tip at different distances from the centre. With the turn of the wheel, the pen traces out hypotrochoid and epitrochoid curves. I don't understand what that means at all, but it sounds very clever and I can pretend I'm actually doing something deeply mathematical instead of just making pretty patterns for fun!
I remember that there was a version of spirograph for younger children, called Spirotot. My sister had one of those and I wish we'd kept it!
Spirograph is still being made today, but unfortunately it is nowhere near as good as those produced in the 60's and 70's. There is also a pretentiously named "Hypotrochoid set" available in a nifty tin, and while it does the job it's still nowhere near as good as the original Spirograph.
Oh they don't make things like they used to!
I'll be listing some more sets in various colour schemes shortly, but I have to say that I rather like the classiness of the monotone set.
I have a set of beads to list too, just as soon as I've wrestled them from the mandrels and cleaned them. Now if only I could produce a spirograph design on a bead. Now that would be cool....