Lego may have started as a simple plastic toy but they have even gone to space.
The interlocking plastic bricks that are so popular today were actually invented in the 1950’s. While today Lego is known as a major brand that includes clothing, theme parks and movies, the Lego Group started in 1932 in the workshop of Danish toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen. Two years later the company was named Lego after the Danish phrase legt godt, which translates to “play well.”
Christiansen, with the help of his young son Godtfred, made wooden toys. In 1947 they purchased a plastic injection-molding machine and expanded to making plastic toys. In 1949 they produced the first version of the toy and called them Automatic Binding Bricks, but they were renamed Lego bricks in 1953. By 1954 Godtfred had become the junior managing director of the company. He saw the potential for the Lego bricks to become an entire toy system fueled by children’s creativity, but the design still needed work. After a few changes the modern Lego brick that we know today was created and then patented on January 28, 1958.
Since that time the Lego Group has created endless varieties of Lego sets and accessories. They have been in video games and movies and they even went to space in 2011 when the Space Shuttle Endeavor mission brought 13 kits to the International Space Station. As of 2013 over 560 billion Lego parts had been manufactured.