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Dan Robbins invented paint-by-numbers in the 1940s

Dan Robbins, the artist behind the paint-by-numbers craze that swept America, has died at the age of 93.

He died this week in Sylvania, Ohio this week, his son told AP news agency.

Robbins was working at a paint products firm in the 1940s when he invented the kits. By the 1950s millions were being sold across the US every year.

His inspiration for the idea came from Leonardo de Vinci, who used a similar method when teaching his apprentices how to paint.

The kits contain canvasses with printed numbers which correspond to numbered paints.

A collection of paint-by-number artworks were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in 2001.