If you’re a Spirograph geek like me, you’ll love this. It’s a booklet from a 1968 Denys Fisher Spirograph set put out in the UK. Ron Peters from the Netherlands kindly photographed every page so we can all learn from it.
My favorite thing about this book is how it teaches you some basic principles about making Spirograph designs, then encourages you to improvise. Maybe, as it says, you can create a design that no one else has ever seen.
The writing style is relatively literary, compared to the minimalist writing found today. The booklet walks you through the different things you can do with one ring and one wheel, and takes you to the most difficult designs using two racks.
The older sets had one particular property that got lost sometime in sets made in the 1980s and later. The alignment mark was halfway up one side of the tooth. If you turned a wheel over and drew the same pattern again, it wouldn’t line up exactly. But this could be used to make a denser pattern. This feature is described in the booklet, and some designs are shown that use this technique.
This set also came with some sheets of paper that were divided in squares for drawing your nicest designs. The rings had lines that aligned with the squares, as you can see in the diagrams in the booklet. You could easily use them to make patterns with both rings, aligning them carefully with the squared paper.
Denys Fisher, by the way, was the inventor of Spirograph, and vintage UK sets carried his name. Sets made in the US and Canada did not, nor do the modern sets made by Kahootz Toys.
Thanks Ron, from all of us, for sending these photos and your observations!
Click on an image to see the slideshow of all the pages in the booklet.