Hey guys! Happy 130th Birthday to Ole Kirk Kristiansen, the LEGO company founder! Ole was a Danish carpenter, who started out making wooden toys, with the help of his son, Godtfred. Originally Ole had a small wood-working shop that sold household products that developed into a wooden toy manufacturer. It was in 1934 that he named the company LEGO that eventually transferred into the world famous plastic bricks. When Ole died in 1958, he passed on his legacy onto Godtfred.
Check out the story of LEGO, with YouTuber, LEGOClubTV:
The Great Depression in Denmark, in the early 1930’s, took a toll on Ole’s business of household items. The drop in farming prices resulted in a lot of customers not being able to afford his products like ladders and ironing boards. It was then, he started making cheap wooden products including toys, but his business slipped into bankruptcy. Ole refused to stop producing the wooden toys and it was then he made the decision to primarily focus the business on children development. Then, in 1934, he established the company name.
Lego is a shortened form of the Danish words Leg godt, meaning “play well”, and the company eventually became known as The LEGO Group.
Ole managed to maintain his business through the Great Depression and Germany’s occupation of Denmark in World War II. Unfortunately, that wasn’t his only struggle. There was a short circuit that resulted in an electrical fire and he lost his factory, his entire stock and the blueprints. In 1944, he started again and his new factory had an assembly line.
Because traditional materials used in the manufacture of products were not readily available, at the end of World World II, manufacturers had to look for other cheap alternatives…plastic! So in 1947, LEGO purchased a plastic injection moulding machine, which was the first toy manufacture company in Denmark to do such thing and it wasn’t cheap! It cost him more than twice the previous year’s profits!
By 1949, LEGO began producing the plastic ‘Automatic Binding Brick’. A year later, his son Godtfred was named Junior Managing Director. For the next 10 years they focused on the development of the plastic brick.
Despite the many setbacks Ole went through over the years, he persevered through it all. Clearly, he had a vision…and he couldn’t have been more right! Now LEGO isn’t just about the plastic bricks. Video games, board games, TV & Film, Books, Magazines and Clothing are just a few other categories LEGO produces.
If you had the chance to of met Ole Kirk Kristiansen, what would you say to him? Comment below!
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