The History of Legos

By Deane Barker on March 11, 2004

LEGO: Another great article at Wikipedia. Name one geek who never played with Legos.

The company’s name was coined by Christiansen in 1934, from the Danish phrase leg godt, meaning “play well.” The word “LEGO” is claimed to mean “I put together” or “I assemble” in Latin, although this is a rather free translation of a verb form that normally would be translated as “I read” or “I gather”.

You know what I loved about the Lego Space series back when I was a kid? The way they didn’t want to encourage violence, so they didn’t include any overtly weapon-like blocks in their sets. But they did make other blocks that we’re so-o-o-o easy to repurpose. Antennas that just happened to look like blaster cannons when mounted horizontally. And rocket tower guides that worked just like the wing-mounted machine guns on World War II Spitfires, like they were just begging you to mount them on the wings of your space ship.

Here’s another great Lego history piece over at Fast Company that I found via Boing Boing. And many other great Lego sites abound.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. You young fellers with all yer new fangled Lego gadgets… why in my day…

    You make me feel really old. The Lego kits that my little brother & I got way back when had no specialty doodads of any kind; only 2, 4, and 8 spot blocks, some angled roof blocks, a few wheels, and I think we had some flat pieces. We had a great time with all that, simple as it was. Later on we got a few of the roof blocks made from clear plastic. They caused many fights, cuz they could be used for windshields, and there weren’t enough to go around for all the blocky-looking planes, spacecraft, & vehicles we came up with. (Most of those Legos eventually ended up in the big Rubbermaid tub that my kids keep their Legos in. They’re the faded ugly ones!)

    I still get down on the floor with my boys and build stuff with them. That’s why you have kids of your own, so playing with this stuff is still somewhat legitimate!

  2. Back when I was a kid, Lego blocks were red and yellow, and were made of wood! Still have a couple around (yoou just can’t get rid of those things!).

  3. I am 14, and legos are the coolest. I will agree with the article, also. It is irresistable to build a plane, or a boat, and not put a gun of some sort on it.

  4. I love legos especially star wars legos because they are fun to just play with and build.They also allow you to do something besides play video games and watch tv , mind you i am 14.

  5. legos are for ugly people and anyone who plays with them is a dummy head.

    That gets my vote for the best comment ever posted to this Web site. Ever.

  6. I HATE ANY ONE THAT SAID’S LEGOS ARE DUMB BECAUSE I WHANT TO SEE ANY ONE MAKE LEGOS OR INVENT LEGOS

  7. -legos are for ugly people and anyone who plays with them is a dummy head. If LEGOs are so dumb why do millions of kids all over the world play with them, they have there own theme parks, and are rated in the top ten of toy manufacturers? Now that I vented that I would like to say that I believe LEGO is the world greatest toy because it stimulates imagination and there is no limitations to what you can do. And so, as the name implies, play well fellow LEGO lovers.

  8. Actually, Ithink they smell like oranges, but thats just me. And I LOVE LEGOS. They are the best and whoever thinks they are for dummy head, is a dummy head. So ha!

    :-P

  9. i think legos are awesome and just like the other guy said I believe LEGO is the world greatest toy because it stimulates imagination and there is no limitations to what you can do. i am a lego collector i have the entire harry potter and orient expedition sets and im working on the whole viking and aqua raiders sets. is it wierd that i still play with legos even though im 14

  10. LEGOs ROCK! The people who say they are dumb need serious help. LEGos are awesome period. You can do so many things with them.

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