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The History of Lego

Updated: May 27

In 1932, a man called Ole Kirk Christiansen, who was a hard working carpenter, fired his last worker and shortly after lost his wife, leaving him alone with four boys. After making an invention for them, which they enjoyed, he made the decicion to start making toys; unfortunately, sales were very slow,so his son, Godfrey, started helping his dad after school. Word got around about the best quality toys, and a salesman was about to change Ole’s life. Although the salesman went bankrupt, Ole kept his confidence and decided to drive around and sell the toys himself. Instead of money, they received trades for food and were well equipped for christmas

In 1934, they were trying to make a short, simple name out of the danish word LEG GODT (play well), and eventually chose the name ‘lego’ which, unbeknownst to Ole, meant ‘put together’ in Latin.

By 1936, the name lego was well received and the company slowly started to move forward.

They spent 3000 crowns (Dutch currency) on a milling machine. Godfrey meanwhile tried to save money by only coating the toys twice instead of three times, but this made Ole furious as he believed in quality over cheap tricks.

In 1942, though, the workshop was set ablaze by a fallen wire and by the time the firemen arrived the workshop was ruined. But, Ole was determined to keep his company running and so they started the construction of a new factory

Gradually, the factory’s production started rising and Ole was thinking of new ways to make lego, when he stumbled upon a moulding machine in Denmark. When they got the machine they started making little teddy bears. Sales were dropping, so Godfrey decided to drive around the country selling the toys, arriving home by the time of Ole’s 60th birthday. And so the first lego brick city was made and taught children about road safety. Although this was great, the bricks would keep falling apart, so Godfrey made the iconic tube system so the bricks would stick together.

Unfortunately, Ole shortly passed away and the factory underwent another fire. But, like his father, Godfrey pushed through and eventually even made an airport.

Because of the business’ large size the employees often could not do their work as it was too crowded, so they made Legoland. Godfrey predicted that they would have 300 thousand visitors, but in the first year they got 600 thousand!

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