Thick as a Brick
In 1958, the modern Lego brick design was developed – although it took another five years to find the right material for it, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene polymer). That Lego brick was patented on January 28 1958. Incredibly bricks from that year are still compatible with current bricks.
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen (born 7 April 1891), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in
1932. Born in Filskov, Denmark, he trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression.
Soon after Christiansen’s wife died, leaving him to raise his four sons. Christiansen was inspired to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. He soon found that his sons loved the new toy and decided to put the ducks into production, using the leftover wood from his old business
In 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”, from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. It expanded to producing plastic toys in 1947. In 1949 Lego began producing an early version of the now famous interlocking bricks, calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”.
By 1951 plastic toys accounted for half of the Lego Company’s output. As of 2013, around 560 billion Lego parts had been produced.