Lego Patent Turns 55!
At exactly 1:58 p.m. today, I’m going to bang a gong or something. Lego turns 55! On January 28th 1958, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen patented the humble Lego brick. His company had existed, making other toys, since 1930—but it was 55 years ago today that the infamous studded plastic brick was officially born.
But it’s a story that began long before that in the genius mind of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish master carpenter who established a toy company in 1932. Two years later, he renamed it Lego, from the Danish “leg godt,” which means “play well.” In Latin, it means “I put together.”
For the most part, it is one of the great levelers in the toy world: kids love it, adults get excited about it, and you can build practically anything you like out of it. While most wholesome family fun turns out boring or desperate, Lego transcends age and gender and makes everyone want to play.
Since 1958, Lego has constantly evolved and adapted to a changing world, introducing new lines and technology. It has been used in ways the company may never have envisaged – from the vet who adapted Lego wheels (introduced in 1962) to help overfed tortoises in 2000 to the Canadian students who sent a Lego man into space in 2012.
News of Lego inventions of others continues to inspire. A father and son built a working Lego drone. Someone else built a Lego camera. And a youth in England built a working Lego harpsichord — it plays “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
The only trouble with the little plastic brick, it seems, is that some people still think of it as just a toy. It’s much more!
Via Engadget, Guardian