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Julia Horeftari for Art-Sheep

 

Greetings, my brave reader.

It is 1932 and Ole Kirk Christiansen’s wife has died, leaving him alone with four children to raise. Christiansen dedicates his life to his kids and tries to fill the gap. Toys seem to be a good idea. Christiansen is a carpenter and so he puts his talent into good use in an attempt to distract them from the tragedy that struck their family. He makes toys for them, in the shape of animals.
The most popular one is the duck. His children are very happy with the wooden toys. Christiansen thinks that his children are no different from the rest and finds it a good idea to sell his toys so that other children might find joy in playing with them. Plus, it’s a pretty descend way of making a living and he does have 4 mouths to feed -5 including his. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s just undug a treasure pot.

Duck - 1935
Duck – 1935

Christiansen owns a small business that sells ladders and wooden boards but things don’t look so bright and bankruptcy is just around the bend. When he includes the toys to the products he sells the proceeds immediately rocket to the sky. Now, the business needs a catchy name and he chooses “LEGO”, which originates in the Danish expression “leg godt” and means “play well”. He will later find out that in Latin, “lego” means “put together”. What a nice coincidence!
It is now 1940 and Christiansen’s lab catches fire and burns to the ground. He builds it again but this time he decides to make only toys, since they sell bigger than ladders and boards. Business is going well and by 1947 Christiansen makes another life-changing decision: he introduces plastic as a new material to make toys.

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1958: Christiansen dies and his son, Gottfried, takes over the business, who was an apprentice to his father since he was 12 years old. The new owner has a novel idea: little plastic bricks that would interconnect with each other to make structures. The modern LEGO brick was patented at 1:58 P.M. on January, 28 1958.
LEGO is experiencing a new, exciting era and right about that time another fire destroys one of the factories. Just like an omen, the factory that produces the wooden toys is turned to ashes, leaving its brother, the plastic toys factory, alone to take over the world.
2015, my brave reader, and 47 years have passed since Denmark’s LEGOLAND first opened its doors to the public and only just a year since “The LEGO Movie” was released in cinemas all over the world.

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Tractor - 1949
Tractor – 1949

By the way, the original bricks made back in the late 50’s are still compatible with the contemporary ones, so, go run through your parents’ or grandparents’ toys in the attic or the basement. You never know what you might find lying in there…

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Three generations of Christiansens.
Three generations of Christiansens.

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