First launched in the early 1960s, the Sketch-a-Graph had two expandable arms on a trellis-like arrangement; One arm held a pen and the other a plastic pointer. You moved the pointer and traced out a drawing, and the pencil moved likewise.
Essentially a real tool – a long-standing drafting device called a pantograph – reworked as an affordable toy, the Sketch-a-Graph allowed youngsters to reproduce images and illustrations by tracing them. Thanks to a series of expanding and contracting linkages, pictures could also be reduced or enlarged as they were copied.
I had one of these and it was impossible to use due to the flimsy 70’s plastic design which meant the trellis often fell to pieces and had to be held together with yards of Sellotape, and the fact that the suction cup would never attach itself to the table properly, needing nine-inch nails to hold the thing onto your mother’s favourite antique dining table!
K-Tel sold an identical item as the “E-Z Tracer”. Other clones included the “Sketch-O-Graph” and the “Sketch-Master”.