History

Who invented LEGOs

By Nancy Livingstone
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Over 400 million children and adults all over the world have played with LEGOŽ bricks.
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The plastic toy created in 1947 has sold over 400 billion bricks

Many people wonder who invented LEGOŽs, that popular children's toy that is known around the world. The inventor of LEGOŽs is Mr. Ole Kirk Christiansen, who is the grandfather of the company owner today, Mr. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Mr. Ole Kirk Christiansen was a carpenter who lived in Bilund, Denmark, and that is also where the company first began. Little would he know that from one decision during the Depression, one of the most popular toys in the world would be created.

Mr. Christiansen began his carpentry business in 1916. He made houses and built furniture for farmers who lived in the area. He lived with his family in Bilund, Denmark and did his carpentry work in that area. But in 1932 he decided to start to make wooden toys for the local children. He made animal pull toys and piggy banks and buses.

Christiansen loved making children's toys so much that he was inspired to switch from carpentry work to the toy business. This was a very wise decision, as the country Denmark was in a depression, and Christiansen believed that while people would wait for awhile if they needed repair work done to their homes, or even new furniture, they would always find money for brand new toys for their children. Christiansen chose the name LEGOŽ for his new company. It is actually a contraction of two Danish words: "leg" and "godt" which means "play well".

Christiansen's new company LEGOŽ created its first plastic toys in 1947. In 1949, they brought what they called Automatic Binding Bricks: interlocking plastic blocks that were an early design of what we now know today as the LEGOŽ brick. The LEGOŽs that we love today came to market in 1955. They were originally designed in red and white plastic.

The first set was called Town Plan and was created to teach children about traffic safety. Town Plan was a hit! In the years that followed, Christiansen offered many more kits to teach children about more important issues. Today, children can find LEGOŽ assortments that include more than 3,000 elements in 75 different colors.

It is estimated that over 400 million children and adults all over the world have played with LEGOŽ bricks. In the past 60 years, global sales of LEGOŽs have reached an astounding 400 billion bricks. That's about seventy-five bricks per person (at the world's population estimated at six billion people). No wonder so many people are interested in knowing who invented LEGOŽs!

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