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The History of Lite-Brite

In 1966, toy creators Marvin Glass, Henry Stan, and Burt Meyer viewed a New York City window display featuring hundreds of colored lights. They were inspired to create a toy based on the concept: the Lite-Brite. The unique product didn’t resemble anything else on the market in the 1960s but did evoke more ancient artistic endeavors. It was reminiscent not only of 19th century mosaic toys that allowed children to arrange marbles in pleasing patterns, but also harkened back to even older pursuits, including ancient Roman mosaics and ancient Islamic tilework. Over the years, the design of the Lite-Brite has changed. It started out as a perforated plastic panel in front of a bulb. A sheet of black construction paper was placed over the panel and colored translucent plastic pegs were inserted through the paper to create an illuminated picture. Today, the toy resembles a flat screen TV and is lit by 6 LED lights inside the case. There are several special editions of the game as well, including online versions and even a smartphone app!

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