Lego History -Part One

Manufactured by The Lego Group a privately held company based in Denmark, Lego consists of plastic interlocking bricks accompanying by figurines called minifigures and various other parts.Lego pieces can be put together and connected in many ways, to build objects; buildings, vehicles and working robots. The beauty of the system is that anything can be constructed and then taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects.

The Lego Group began manufacturing Lego in 1949 and since   then a subculture has developed as movies, games, competitions and even some amusement parks. It has been estimated that of 2015, over 500 billion Lego parts had been made and in fact Lego has become so popular it has become for some the worlds most famous brands.

 

The Lego Group started in a workshop owned by Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891–1958), a carpenter from Billund in  Denmark, who started constructing wooden toys in 1932. By 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”, which stems from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”.

It was not until 1947 that Lego decided to begin producing plastic toys and not till 1949 that Lego began making other new products, an early product of what we know now as the now familiar interlocking bricks, calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”.

These bricks were based in part on the Kiddicraft Self–Locking Bricks, which were actually patented in the United Kingdom in 1939 and but not released until 1947. However Lego altered the design of the Kiddicraft brick after examining a sample that they received from the supplier of an injection-molding machine that Lego had bought. The bricks were not originally made from plastic but were a development of the traditional stackable wooden blocks.

The Lego Group’s motto which roughly translates as “only the best is the best” and this motto, which is still used today, was created by Ole Kirk to encourage his work force always to use the best of everything something he believed in strongly. Plastic toys made up for half of the Lego Company’s output in 1951,but some people still felt  that plastic would never replace traditional wooden toys. However Lego toys became an exception to that rule due to a great extent to the high standards set by Ole Kirk.