LEGO Toy Bricks First Introduced (1958): The company that makes the famous, little, plastic, interlocking bricks known as LEGO started as a small shop in Billund, Denmark. Established in 1932 by master carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen who was aided by his 12-year-old son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, the company made wooden toys, stepladders, and ironing boards. It wasn't until two years later that the business took the name of LEGO, which came from the Danish words "LEg GOdt," meaning "play well."
Over the next several years, the company grew exponentially. From just a handful of employees in the early years, LEGO had grown to 50 employees by 1948. The product line had grown as well, with the addition of a LEGO duck, clothes hangers, a Numskull Jack on the goat, a plastic ball for babies, and some wooden blocks.
In 1947, the company made a huge purchase that was to transform the company and lead it to world fame. In that year, LEGO bought a plastic injection-molding machine, which could mass produce plastic toys. By 1949, this machine was producing about 200 different kinds of toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks, a plastic fish, and a plastic sailor. The Automatic Binding Bricks were the predecessor of the LEGO toys of today.
In 1953, the Automatic Binding Bricks were renamed LEGO Bricks and in 1958, these bricks underwent a slight change in their design, which transformed them into the LEGO Bricks we know today. Also in 1958, Ole Kirk Christiansen passed away and his son Godtfred became head of the LEGO company.
By the early 1960s, LEGO had gone international, with sales in Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, and even Lebanon. Over the following decade, more countries started to sell LEGO toys, including the United States in 1973.
In 1964, for the first time, consumers could buy LEGO sets, which included all the parts and instructions to build a particular model. LEGO later introduced themed lines of LEGO, including town (1978), castle (1978), space (1979), pirates (1989), Western (1996), Star Wars (1999), and Harry Potter (2001).
For over half a century, these small, little, plastic bricks have sparked the imagination of children around the world and LEGO remain one of the world's most popular toys.