Once upon a time...

A man named Ole Kirk Christiansen made hand-crafted wooden toys in a sleepy Danish village called Billund.

Naming his company “LEGO” (from the Danish words “Leg godt” — play well), his company made pigs:

And roosters, and rabbits:

Some of the wooden toys also included bits of plastic, a sign of things to come:

Ole and his company made wooden toys until 1960:

Today, the LEGO Company is better known for the interlocking plastic bricks they began producing in 1949. LEGO elements as we know them today were introduced in 1958, when brick design was changed to include a stud-and-tube “coupling system.” With additional innovations along the way, like the minifig in 1978, LEGO toys are far-removed from their predecessors. But toys are toys, and fun is fun. I wonder what LEGO toys will look like fifty years from now?

(This walk down memory lane was brought to you by Swisso’s fantastic collection of vintage wooden LEGO toys, and by the BrickWiki article on the LEGO Company. Oh, and by the letter Q and the imaginary number e.)

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