Saturday, 24 December 2016

Behold the greatest spirographs in the world

Aaron Bleackley

On a recent trip to Vancouver, I visited the Vancouver Hack Space (which is awesome, by the way), just to see what local makers were doing. There I met a soft-spoken guy named Aaron Bleackley who introduced himself as the creator of "the greatest spirographs in the world." Wait, what? Is that really a thing?

Spirographs were invented in the late nineteenth century by mathematician and electrical engineer Bruno Abakanowicz, but didn't become a popular toy until the 1960s. They allow you to create a wide range of kaleidoscopic designs by putting your pen into one of many holes in a set of interlocking gears, then using your pen to push the gears around an outer ring. I hadn't used one since elementary school, but Bleackley's passion reminded me of how satisfying it was to watch those amazing designs appear under my pencil.

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