facts about the invention
of LEGO bricks by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1949.
|In 1932 Ole Kirk
Christiansen, master carpenter and joiner in the village of Billund, Denmark, sets up
business. His firm manufactures stepladders, ironing boards - and wooden toys. In 1934 the
company and its products now take on the name LEGO, which is formed from the Danish words
"LEgGOdt" ("play well"). In 1947 the LEGO company is Denmark's
first to buy a plastic injection-molding machine for making toys. In 1949 the company
produces about 200 different plastic and wooden toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks,
a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today.
sold only in Denmark. In 1955 after further developing the LEGO Bricks, the company
launches the revolutionary "LEGO System of Play": 28 sets and 8 vehicles. It
also sells supplementary elements. In 1958 the current LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system
is invented and patented. The new coupling principle makes models much more stable. The
possible combinations of bricks run into astronomical figures.
in the United States in 1962, the first LEGOs came in loose sets of bricks. By 1966,
however, LEGO kits were guiding young hard hats in snapping together all kinds of
buildings, trucks, planes, and ships. The LEGO Group expanded its audience with the 1969
addition of the DUPLO line of big bricks for preschoolers and, in 1977, the TECHNIC line
of sophisticated projects for older kids and teens. Within the last decade, an active
online community of LEGO fans has developed new designs and drawing programs in which new
constructions can be recorded. In 1998, LEGO introduced LEGO SCALA Planet, a kit specially
designed for girls that combines the company's traditional construction elements with a
family of dolls and fashion accessories, a magazine, and an interactive Web site. LEGO
came to the United States during some of the coldest years of the Cold War, a period
that also saw a heightened interest in education and toys that could teach. U.S. leaders
exhorted schools to start turning out scientists and mathematicians, who were seen as key
combatants in the arms and space races with the Soviet Union. In the spirit of the times,
LEGO promised that its bricks would "develop the child's critical judgment, manual
dexterity, and ability to think for himself." Its no accident that the
words "LEGO" and "imagination" often pop up together. The bright,
colorful plastic bricks can be joined in countless combinations and have been a favorite
with kids, parents, and teachers since their introduction in 1958. Unlike Erector Sets and
Tinkertoys, which appeal more to older children, LEGO bricks are loved by builders of all
ages, even infants more interested in knocking down than in building.
TO LEARN MORE
Toys from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of Tinkertoys from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of Lincoln Logs from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson, Laurie Keller / Hardcover - 128 pages (2000) / Henry
Holt & Company
The quirky tales behind more than two dozen novelties, gadgets and games, from seesaws to
Silly Putty and toy soldiers to Trivial Pursuit.
by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen / Hardcover - 124 pages / DK Publishing - 1999
This book is about an idea, a set of values, and a long-term
commitment to empowering children to use their creativity and build their imagination.
Lego Crazy Action Contraptions
Dan Rathjen, the Editors of Klutz (Editor) /
Bk&Access edition / Klutz Press - 1998
Complete plans for making marvelous moving machines out of the special Legos that come
with the book and some basic pieces you've already got at home.
Mindstorms: an Advanced Guide to Lego Mindstorms
by Dave Baum, Michael Gasperi, Ralph Hempel, Luis Villa /
Paperback: 347 pages / APress; (2000)
Through the construction and programming of a demonstration robot, readers will learn
advanced MINDSTORMS construction and programming techniques.
Building Robots With Lego Mindstorms: The Ultimate Tool for Mindstorms
by Mario Ferrari, Giulio Ferrari, Ralph Hempel / Paperback: 656 pages Syngress Media Inc;
Introduces the basics of building robots with Lego bricks and components. The author
presents techniques for controlling motors and programming the RCX, suggest ideas for
different styles of robots to build, and takes a peek into the world of Mindstorms
ON THE WEB:
The Official LEGO Web Site
There is lots to do at this LEGO Group official site, you
can even enter a design contest. Lots of COOKIES at this site.
Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958)
"Only the best is good enough," was Ole Kirk Christiansens motto
and the legacy he left the company he started, LEGO. Brief profile at the
Toy Industry hall of Fame.
Cool LEGO Site of the Week
There are hundreds of sites dedicated to LEGO. You will find a
selection of the best here.
DR. TOY'S CLASSIC TOYS
-Classic Toys provide durability and fun. They have style and have qualities that make
them all time favorites. Lego is just one of the toy products chosen.
A college course at Wellesley College called Robotic Design Studio. In this introductory
Winter Session course students learn how to design, assemble, and program robots made out
Official LEGO Mindstorms
This site from LEGO showcases the Mindstorms systems. Visit the Community to find out about pioneering LEGO
MINDSTORMS inventors, building tutorials, robotic missions and much, much more!
WHERE TO FIND:
A complete selection of all LEGO products including
BIONCLE, PRIMO's; DUPLO; LEGO SYSTEM; TECHNIC, LEGO MEDIA software, and my favorite MINDSTORMS page from The Great Idea Finder .
DID YOU KNOW:
- 4.9152 cm is the volume of an 8-stud LEGO brick. It measures
9.6 x 32 x 16 mm.
- Thousands of a mm - that's the tolerance of accuracy at the
LEGO mould factories.
- 102,981,500 are how many different ways there are to combine
six 8-stud bricks of the same color. If you haven't that much time, you can take three
8-stud bricks - same color - and fit them together in 1,060 ways. Two 8-stud bricks -
still the same color - can be put together in 24 ways.
- 189,000,000,000 (189 billion)LEGO elements and 11 billion
LEGO DUPLO bricks - or thereabouts - were molded up to 1998
- The LEGO company is Denmark's first to buy a plastic
injection-molding machine for making toys.
- The name LEGO, which is formed from the Danish words
"LEgGOdt" ("play well"). Later, it is realized that in Latin the word
means "I study", "I put together".
- On the threshold of the millenium LEGO Company once again
entered the history books, this time as "Toy of the Century" as voted by Fortune
magazine and the British Association of Toy Retailers.
2005 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised February, 2005.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
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book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
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