Maybe you can help Ron Peters, who wrote from the Netherlands, with a mystery:
EDIT: Aug. 13: See the bottom of this post for an update!
I (re-)discovered spirograph the 25th of June this year when I bought the starter pack with one ring and six wheels. The set was exactly the price of a pack of cigarettes in the Netherlands. I gave up smoking that day, successfully, and am very much involved in spirograph.
I have meanwhile gathered a collection of spirograph sets with the money I would have otherwise spend on smoking. Amongst them one from 1972 with a swing arm. Regretfully without the instructions, and I am very curious on how to use that piece. I have to admit I can not figure it out myself.
My question would be if you can help me out, or otherwise ask the visitors of spirographicart to clarify the “mystery”.
Note that the mystery piece has no teeth!
The only clue I see is on the cover of the box. It says ‘New “swinging action” designs!’ next to an unusual pattern:
Obviously this is a piece that didn’t make it to the next edition of Spirograph. If anyone has a booklet for this set, or can imagine how to use the toothless mystery “swing marker” piece to produce the design above, please let us know in the comments!
Here are the box cover and the rest of the set.
Apparently Spirograph can help you give up smoking! Congratulations, Ron!
EDIT August 13:
After looking at a photo referenced from a comment below, I had a “Eureka” moment about how it works. You don’t need a swing marker, folks, unless you want reproducible results and recipes to follow. I’m more of a slap-dash experimenter, myself.
It’s all about drawing a pattern while the ring is attached with only one pin (can’t do this with putty) and swinging between stops you’ve set with other pins. Bizarre, yes.
I’ll make a video when I get a chance (not for a couple of days at least). Meanwhile, I’ll share a picture of my initial experiments:
Some totally different designs can be obtained.
Note that I’m using a corkboard here as a working surface to stick the pins in, as I described in one of my very first posts on this blog, before the new Spirograph or Wild Gears came out. I can imagine the pivot pin will wiggle itself out in time, probably more quickly if you’re using a corrugated cardboard backing.
Video coming in a few days. Meanwhile, give it a try!