LEGOS – the colorful, small brick shaped plastic pieces that kids play with. You know them, you’ve seen kids play with them, and you may even know about some of the great designs people have made about them. But how much do you really know about them?
In 1932, Ole Kirk Christiansen created the LEGO Group in his native Denmark. The origin of the word LEGO is an abbreviation from two Danish words – leg godt – which means play well. From the simple name and concept of play well, the LEGO group has created a simple toy that has withstood the test of time.
The first products of the LEGO Group were designed by Christiansen, who was a carpenter by trade. They included everyday household items such as ladders, stools and wooden toys. From the small workshop in Billund, Denmark, Christiansen began using the LEGO name in 1934 and starts to build mostly wooden toys.
During the early years of the LEGO Group, Christiansen kept creating different types of toys, and creates wooden bricks. Eventually, the company starts to use plastic in the creation of the toys, and in 1949, LEGO Group creates the Automatic Binding Brick, which is a plastic brick that has four and eight studs. This would be the forerunner of the now famous LEGO brick.
In the 1950’s, as the company began to grow rapidly, the LEGO Group continued to work on their plastic toy creation. In 1958, the group came upon its biggest discovery yet. The small LEGO brick, that we now know, was invented. The brick allowed users the opportunity to use their imagination and build anything imaginable.
Over the next several decades the LEGO Group continued to build on their new discovery. They added other pieces such as doors, windows and people that could be used with the LEGO sets. They also added sets that are appropriate for set age groups such as Duplos for younger children and Bionicles for older children. The LEGO Group also began to add specialty sets based on certain themes such as Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones. Eventually, the company began to expand into markets such as video games and build-able toys with moving parts.
In 1968 Legoland was designed and built, bringing together the new found love of LEGOS and a theme park. Legoland became an instant hit with visitors in Denmark. Since the initial Legoland was built in Denmark, other parks in Great Britain, the United States and Germany have appeared. These parks offer patrons fun filled rides, educational displays along with some of the remarkable examples of construction done with LEGO bricks.
The LEGO Group has created a toy that has become a main component of children using imagination to build items. The group has been around for over 70 years, and the innovated thinking of the leaders of the company will help mold children for the next 70 years.
We have put together a collection of resources to learn more about LEGOS and the LEGO Group:
All About Legos