The history of lego building blocks
Created by Tara123 on Feb 20, 2011
Last updated: 02/20/11 at 01:11 PM
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LEGO® bricks will provide a symbolic link between Earth and space when the Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off from Cape Canaveral for its last scheduled flight. A small LEGO space shuttle model will accompany the crew to mark the start of a partnership between The LEGO Group and NASA.
The LEGO brick celebrates its 50th anniversary.
While maintaining production in production sites in Eastern Europe, Mexico and Denmark, the LEGO Group decides to take back the majority of its production so that most LEGO products will be produced inhouse.
LEGO owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is inducted to the Toy Industry Hall of Fame (US).
The LEGO Group signs the UN Global Compact initiative. For LEGO minifigures who represent real-life persons or characters from books, movies or TV series, the yellow facial colouring is replaced by a more authentic skin colour, facial expression and hair style. The first BIONICLE film, Mask of Light, is released and proves to be a big success.
LEGOLAND California opens in Carlsbad, southern California, in March.
LEGO Group undergoes restructuring. The changes result in the loss of 1000 jobs.
Mitchel Resnick of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is named as the new LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research.
The LEGO brick is named as one of the "Products of the Century" by Fortune Magazine.
LEGO World Shop opens on the internet.
The first LEGO products-only store opens in the Bluewater centre in Dartford, London, England.
For the first time, a CD-ROM containing building instructions is included with a model set. The set also contains a Bar Code Truck with a programmable bar-code reader.
A 700 m2 LEGO Imagination Center is opened on 13th October in Disney Village, Florida.
The first LEGO MINDSTORMS Learning Center opens at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, USA.
The names PRIMO and DUPLO are changed to LEGO PRIMO and LEGO DUPLO on 1st January.
Consumer Service Centre Billund and Consumer Service Centre Americas established.
LEGO happening in Kremlin Palace, Moscow (more than 300.000 children participate).
LEGO Kids Wear shop opened in Oxford Street, London.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen introduces the LEGO Group vision.
The first official LEGO World Cup building championships are held in Billund in August.
LEGO Canada established.
The exhibition "The Art of LEGO" tours the United Kingdom.
The LEGO Prize is founded in April. It is an international annual award of DKK 750,000 (increased in 1989 to DKK 1,000,000) for exceptional efforts on behalf of children.
Procurement department established in Korea.
Approx. 5000 employees, 3000 of these in Billund.
Collaboration with Professor Seymour Papert and the Boston M.I.T. begins.
LEGOLAND mini figures with movable arms and legs
Base plates with road markings
A single new LEGO logo replaces the various logos that have been used until now. The new LEGO logo unifies all the company's products under one banner.
First sales to Eastern Europe (Hungary)
LEGO USA established in Brookfield, Connecticut.
LEGO Portugal established.
German psychologist Karin Grossmann writes the book "Mach mehr aus LEGO". It is a study of 200 children and their play with LEGO bricks.
The DUPLO series for under-fives is launched internationally.
843 employees in Billund.
The first LEGOLAND film.
The product range comprises 57 sets and 25 vehicles. A total of 706 million LEGO elements are produced during the year. LEGO is now sold in 42 countries.
The wooden toy warehouse is destroyed by fire. Production of wooden toys is discontinued entirely. App. 450 employees in Billund. LEGO Finland and LEGO Nederland established.
Futura, the product-development department, now has five members of staff. A market analysis department is established. Photography department established. LEGO France, British LEGO Ltd., LEGO Belgium and LEGO Sweden are established. The machines in the production are now so automatic that one operator can handle two machines at a time! LEGO gives the municipality of Billund approx. 20 acres of land and 50.000 Danish Crowns for a sports ground.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen passes away and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen becomes head of the company. The first telex machine and photocopier in Billund. 140 employees in Billund.
The Automatic Binding Bricks get a new name: "LEGO Mursten" ("LEGO Bricks").
The name LEGO is printed inside all bricks.
The first application for registration of the trademark. The Danish registration is accepted on the 1st of May 1954.
The first ever film about LEGO is shot. The photographer is Chistian Lund, and the film is black and white with no sound.
Plastic toys account for half of the company's output.
The company produces around 200 different plastic and wooden toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks, a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today. They are sold in Denmark exclusively.
The first packaging with four colours is introduced.
First plastic lego brick made in the toy shop of Ole Kirk Christiansen in Billund, Denmark. These early bricks were based on a British model and called "Automatic Binding Bricks."
LEGO has 50 employees.
After the 3rd fire a new factory.
On the night of March 22, 1942, a short circuit causes an electrical fire and the LEGO factory and warehouse burned down. This was the third time the factory had burned down. The first occurring in 1924 and the second in 1932.
Denmark occupied by the Germans. Godfred Kirk Christiansen does not travel to Germany to study as planned. Instead, he becomes manager at LEGO.
The shop now has 10 employees.
Godfred Kirk Christiansen starts creating models. He is 17 years old.
The motto “Det bedste er ikke for godt” (Only the best is good enough) is added to the company.
The company and its products now adopt the name LEGO, formed from the Danish words "LEg GOdt" ("play well"). Later, it is realised that in Latin the word means "I put together".
The firm has 6-7 employees.
Ole Kirk places the following motto on the workshop wall: "Only the best is good enough".
Ole Kirk's shop started making wooden toys such as piggy banks, pull toys, cars and trucks. The business was not very profitable thanks to the Depression. Farmers in the area sometimes traded food in exchange for his toys; Ole Kirk continued producing practical furniture in addition to toys in order to stay in business. In the mid-1930s, the yo-yo toy fad gave him a brief period of increased activity until it suddenly collapsed. To reduce waste, Ole Kirk used the leftover yo-yo parts as wheels for a toy truck. His son Godtfred began working for him, taking an active role in the company.
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The Company has passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.
Ole leaves Denmark to work abroad as a carpenter, first in Germany, then in Norway.
Ole, at the age of 14, is apprenticed to an older brother to learn carpentry
Ole Kirk Christiansen is born in Filskov, Denmark