The Decoregger

Decoregger 1

Hey look! It’s the fossilized remains of a possible evolutionary ancestor of the EggBot!

Decoregger 2

Okay, it’s pre-USB but technically it’s not a fossil. Like many of us, the decoregger dates from the mid-1970’s. It’s a simple function gadget that mounts an egg so that you can spin it, with arm second arm that holds tiny felt-tip pens.  Curiously, there are also some contemporary machines bearing the same name that lack the separate arm.


Decoregger 3 Decoregger 4
Decoregger 5 Decoregger 6

In the upper-left photo, you can see that the pen holder has a separate “paddle” that you hold, to manually move the pen in the arc across the egg surface.  Lacking the proper felt-tip pens, we found that a uni-ball micro pen was about the right diameter to fit in the holder.

One surprising thing: To model this thing, we used regular “large AA” (not extra large, and not jumbo) size eggs from the grocery store. And it was only barely possible to squeeze the egg into the holders. From the picture on the box, it looks like there’s plenty of room for even the largest egg.  Possible explanation #1: Plastic shrinks over time. Possible explanation #2: The egg pictured on the box is from the advertising land of freaky micro-children.

But in any case, the decoregger is a cute little machine, and it looks like it might be fun to play with.  The actual play is a matter of turning knob 1 and knob 2, so it feels a lot like an Etch-a-Sketch in spherical coordinates. Now if only there were some way to strap a couple of motors to it and perform a CNC conversion….

Decoregger 8

Speaking of which, it really is a lot smaller than the EggBot.  Heck, you could probably fit the whole thing inside the EggBot.

Decoregger 7

Wait — am I doing this right?

Special thanks to Michelle Hlubinka for finding this artifact and sending it to us!

9 thoughts on “The Decoregger

  1. My guess is that smaller eggs were more common in the past, most of my cookbooks from that era typically use eggs of that size, in my 1978 Betty Crocker is this helpful advice “Eggs are most often available as extra-large, large and medium. Our recipes were tested with large eggs.” I don’t think I’ve seen a medium egg in the store for almost 10 years.

  2. I wish the EggBot sold for $1.69, I’d buy 3.

    I had one of these as a kid too, don’t think I ever got it to work though. I’ve seen the EggBot several times and never put the 2 together. I had actually forgot about the Decoreggator until I saw the picture. Maybe if they had a cooler name they’d been more popular.

    1. Never had much luck with it either – for one thing, the pen holder was really bad. And I was using it with blown eggs, so it wasn’t like the egg was heavy.

  3. Are there any potential trademark issues on something like this? Or if you mechanized something like the old playdough funhouse?

    1. There certainly would be if we tried to sell something with this name or exact appearance; this is still an actively used trademark.

  4. +1 on “I had one of those!”

    Thanks for the memory!

    (Note to self: Get an Eggbot, along with about 80% of the EMS catalogue (HellOOO Bulbdial clock!) after I solve a nagging unemployment issue-grmbl…)

  5. Nice :)

    One small thing – clicking the second photo (showing the back of the packet, with the instructions) goes to a 404 on Flickr; I guess that’s not deliberate? :-)

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