Lego Celebrates 90th Anniversary August 10
On the day of the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Danish company, there is an occasion to briefly recall the beginning of the brand’s success story Lego.
Back in 1932, a private furniture workshop owned by carpenter Ole Christiansen was on the verge of ruin. Therefore, the owner had to fire all employees. He himself switched to making simple and inexpensive stools, ironing boards and stepladders. To promote the products, the carpenter decided to make miniature copies of his products and put them on public display. These promotional trinkets soon spurred him to make wooden toys for children as an additional source of income.
One of the first wooden Lego toys.
Ole Christiansen took into account that in difficult times, even those parents who save literally on everything will always allocate money for a new toy for their child. So the furniture workshop began to simultaneously produce cars, airplanes, houses and other toys. At first, this helped to improve financial affairs, so Christiansen soon hired workers again. Then he assumed that in the near future it was wooden toys for children that would become the main production of his workshop.
In 1934, Ole Christiansen arranged a kind of competition in the team for the best name for the expanded company. In the end, he himself won the main prize in the form of a bottle of house wine. He suggested the now well-known name «Lego», which was an abbreviated form of the Danish phrase leg godt, which means «play well».
The first plastic toys.
In 1942, another fire (and there were several of them in the history of the company) destroyed the factory, and Ole Christiansen rebuilt everything again. At the same time, he even expanded production. But in the postwar years in Denmark there were huge problems with the supply of timber. So he bought the country’s first casting machine and was once again able to stay afloat thanks to the opportunity to start manufacturing plastic toys.
At first, toys were made according to samples provided by the manufacturer of the casting machine. Among them were «Self-Locking Building Blocks», which were patented in 1947 by British toy maker Hillary Fisher Page, founder of Kiddicraft. It was in them that Christiansen’s sons Kirk and Gottfried saw great potential for the development of toy production. They borrowed Page’s idea, modernized it, and 2 years later patented their own «Auto Connecting Bricks». Since 1953, they have been officially referred to as Lego bricks.
1955 became a significant year in the biography of the Danish company: Lego presented her famous «Game System». Its main feature was that all Lego cubes were completely combined with each other. This revolutionary standard remains unchanged to this day. Therefore, all the «bricks» of the designers released in 1958 are connected without problems with the details of the sets that appeared in the current 2022.
This is how the success story of the manufacturer of now popular designers in all countries began Lego. The further path was not rosy — the company was waiting for severe trials. But she steadfastly overcame any difficulties and earned the universal love of the children of the whole planet. Not without reason, since 2014, Lego has been the largest toy manufacturer in the world.
In 2008, Lego re-released one of the classic sets from the first wave. The man in the photo is the grandson of Ole Kirk Kjell, CEO of the company from 1979 to 2004.
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