LEGO’S Early History

Lego is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego group. It was invented by a Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen. Ole Kirk

Ole Kirk Christiansen

Christiansen’s company came to be called Lego. Lego expanded to producing plastic toys in 1940.

In 1949 Lego produced the now famous interlocking bricks calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”. It is based largely on the design of Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks which was released in the United Kingdom in 1947. Lego modified the design of Kiddicraft brick examining a sample given by a British supplier of an injection-moulding machine that was purchased by the company. The bricks are manufactured from cellulose acetate. The Lego bricks are a development of traditional stackable wooden blocks that locked together by means of several round studs on top and a hollow rectangular bottom.

Lego Bricks

Lego Bricks

Godtfred Kirk Christiansen

Godtfred Kirk Christiansen

The name Lego was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ whichmeans “play well”. The name could also be interpreted as “I put together” and “I assemble” in Latin. Lego group’s motto is “Kun det bedste er godt nok” which means “only the best is good enough”. Many of the Lego Group’s shipments were returned after poor sale. It was thought that plastic toys could never replace wooden ones.

In 1954, when Christiansen’s son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen had become a junior managing director of the Lego Group, his conversation with an overseas buyer struck the idea of toy system. Godtfred saw the immense potential in Lego bricks to become a system for creative play. But the bricks still had some problems from a technical standpoint that is their locking ability was limited and they were not very versatile. The modern brick design was developed in 1958 but it took another five years to find the right material. Lego bricks which were patented in 28th January 1958 are still compatible with the current bricks.

Ole Kirk Christiansen 2

Ole Kirk Christiansen outside LEGO's building

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