At first Godtfred called his invention simply a “Toy Building Brick”. He described it as a “highly sophisticated inter-locking brick system”.
The name LEGO comes from the two Danish words Leg Godt. They mean “Play Well”. So, Ole Kirk Kristiansen names his company like that in 1934 when she makes wooden toys. He doesn’t know that in Latin LEGO means I put together. Talk about meant to be.
Ole’s sone, Godtfred, starts designing wooden toys in 1937 at the age of 17. In 1946 he orders his first plastic injection moulding machine from the UK. This machine helps him invent the colorful bricks.
At hirst Godfred calls them “Automatic Building Bricks”. They officially hit the market in 1949. In 1953 he changes the name to LEGO Mursten which means LEGO Bricks. This is the year when they start to print the word LEGO on every brick.
“Our idea has been to create a toy that prepares the child for life – appealing to its imagination and developing the creative urge and joy of creation that are the driving forces in every human being”, says Godfred in 1955. During that year LEGO launches the System in Play line – the more bricks you have, the more you can build.
In 1956 LEGO enters the German market. And in 1957 Godtfred takes over day to day management of the company from his father. 1958 comes and Godtfred patents the current LEGO bricks with a new coupling principle which opens a world of possibilities.
In 1960 a fire destroys LEGO’s wooden toy warehouse. So, the company decides to focus only on the bricks. Two years later it launches the first LEGO wheels. And another two years later LEGO launches the first set with an instruction. And in 1968 the company opens the first LEGOLAND Park in Billund.
In 1969 LEGO launches the Duplo bricks which are for the youngest children and are twice the size. 1975 comes and LEGO establishes an office in the USA.
In 1977 LEGO launches the Technic line. A year later the first LEGO Minifigure joins. Then in the 1980s LEGO starts to develop more educational materials believing that the bricks are more than toys. In 1989 the company launches the LEGO Pirates theme. The pirate Minifigures are the first with multiple facial expressions.
Over the years later LEGO continues to expand and develop into the big company that it’s today. We’re certainly hoping that we will have LEGO around for a lot more time.