The company and its products now adopt the name LEGO, formed from the Danish words "LEg GOdt" ("play well"). Later, it is realised that in Latin the word means "I put together".
The firm has 6-7 employees.
Ole Kirk places the following motto on the workshop wall: "Only the best is good enough".
Ole Kirk Christiansen, master carpenter and joiner, establishes his business in the village of Billund, Denmark. His firm manufactures stepladders, ironing boards, stools and wooden toys.
His son, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, starts working in the business at the age of 12.
The company produces around 200 different plastic and wooden toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks, a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today. They are sold in Denmark exclusively.
The first packaging with four colours is introduced.
Selected Product News 1949
The LEGO Automatic Binding Brick with four and eight studs
A plastic fish
A plastic sailor
LEGO has 50 employees.
Selected Product News 1948
A game of Tiddlywinks
The LEGO Group is the first in Denmark to buy a plastic injection-moulding machine for toy production. The machine costs 30.000 Danish Crowns. By comparison, the revenue of the firm this year is 450.000 Danish Crowns.
Selected Product News 1947
Plastic ball for infants
The educational traffic board game "Monypoli"
Selected Product News 1946
Wooden bricks with decorations (letters and figures)
The firm has approx. 40 employees.
The LEGO factory burns to the ground, however, the production of wooden toys is quickly resumed.
Denmark occupied by the Germans. Godfred Kirk Christiansen does not travel to Germany to study as planned. Instead, he becomes manager at LEGO.
Futura, the product-development department, now has five members of staff.
A market analysis department is established.
Photography department established.
LEGO France, British LEGO Ltd., LEGO Belgium and LEGO Sweden are established.
The machines in the production are now so automatic that one operator can handle two machines at a time!
LEGO gives the municipality of Billund approx. 20 acres of land and 50.000 Danish Crowns for a sports ground.
Ole Kirk Christiansen passes away and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen becomes head of the company.
The first telex machine and photocopier in Billund.
140 employees in Billund.
Selected Product News 1958
The current LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system is patented. The new coupling principle makes models much more stable.
Sloping (roof tile) bricks
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen is appointed Managing Director.
LEGO Schweiz is established.
Selected Product News 1957
A LEGO brick with light inside
The first foreign sales company is established in Hohenwestedt, Germany.
The company buys its first own truck.
Selected Product News 1956
Bicyclists and motorcyclists (little plastic figures)
After further developing the LEGO Bricks, the company launches the revolutionary "LEGO System of Play".
The first real export of LEGO begins. First country is Sweden.
Godfred Kirk Christiansen demonstrates the new product at a toy fair in Nuremberg, Germany. Reaction are not positive.
Selected Product News 1955
LEGO System of Play: 28 sets and 8 vehicles plus supplementary elements
The word LEGO is officially registered in Denmark on 1st May.
Godfred Kirk Christiansen travels to England and meets a purchasing agent on the ferry. They talk about toys. The agent thinks that toys lack idea and system. This spawns the LEGO System idea in the mind of GKC.
Selected Product News 1954
The Beam brick
LEGO windows and doors
The Automatic Binding Bricks get a new name: "LEGO Mursten" ("LEGO Bricks").
The name LEGO is printed inside all bricks.
The first application for registration of the trademark. The Danish registration is accepted on the 1st of May 1954.
Ole Kirk's plans to expand and a plant is built. It cost 350.000 Danish Crowns.
The company now has its first canteen!
Selected Product News 1952
Big plastic and wooden cars
The first ever film about LEGO is shot. The photographer is Chistian Lund, and the film is black and white with no sound.
Plastic toys account for half of the company's output.
Selected Product News 1951
The building base with 10 x 20 studs
The plastic tractor (Ferguson)
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of the founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen, is appointed Junior Vice President the day he turns 30.
The DUPLO series for under-fives is launched internationally.
843 employees in Billund.
The first LEGOLAND film.
Selected Product News 1969
The 12-volt motor joins the Train series.
LEGOLANDŽ Billund opens its gates on 7th June and attracts 625,000 visitors in its first season, 3000 on the opening day.
The first computer in LEGO Group - an NCR 390 for pay administration. The machine cost 85.000 Danish Crowns.
The LEGOLAND Band is established.
There are now 218 different LEGO elements (not counting colour variations) and between 18 and 19 million LEGO sets are sold during the year.
Selected Product News 1967
The DUPLOŽ brick
The product range comprises 57 sets and 25 vehicles. A total of 706 million LEGO elements are produced during the year.
LEGO is now sold in 42 countries.
Selected Product News 1966
The battery-driven LEGO Train
First sales in Spain.
More than 600 employees in Billund.
Model sets, complete with building instructions, are launched as a natural addition to existing Basic and Supplementary sets.
First sales to the Middle East (Lebanon)
LEGO bricks are exhibited at the Danish pavilion at the New York World Fair.
Production plant LEGO Werkzeugbau GmbH in Hohenwehenstedt, Germany opened.
Selected Product News 1964
LEGO Model cars
Jumbo bricks (produced by Samsonite in the USA)
Godfred Kirk Christiansen presents the company to the ten product characteristics:
Unlimited play potential
For girls and for boys
Fun for every age
Healthy, quiet play
Long hours of play
Development, imagination, creativity
The more LEGO, the greater the value
Extra sets available
Quality in every detail
LEGO Austria established.
Procurement department established.
INTERLEGO AG established in Switzerland.
The first international company film, "Mr. Johnson from Australia", is produced.
Sales start in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Marocco and Japan.
LEGO Australia established.
The first personnel manager hired.
Selected Product News 1962
The Measurement line
The LEGO Group invents the wheel! It is marketed in the following year.
The range comprises 50 sets, 15 vehicles and various loose elements.
Sales start in the US and Canada via a license agreement with Samsonite Corp.
First ever strike at LEGO (one or two days).
LEGO Italy established.
Godfred Kirk Christiansen buys a small Piper Apache plane (room for two pilots and three passengers) in association with Sonderjyllands Flyselskab (later to become Cimber Air). A landing field is established just outside Billund.
Selected Product News 1961
Terapi I, II and III (pre-school products)
The wooden toy warehouse is destroyed by fire. Production of wooden toys is discontinued entirely.
App. 450 employees in Billund.
LEGO Finland and LEGO Nederland established.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of INTERLEGO A/S.
The DUPLO rabbit logo is registered as a trademark.
LEGO Singapore established.
LEGO USA moves from Brookfield to Enfield, Connecticut.
Procurement in the US established.
The LEGO Group has 2500 employees.
LEGO Portugal established.
English becomes official corporate language.
Selected Product News 1975
The Expert Series
LEGO Spain established.
LEGO Overseas A/S established.
LEGO Futura ApS established.
The Mount Rushmore replica is created in the LEGOLAND Park.
The LEGOLAND park in Billund receives visitor no. 5 million.
The Esso Motor Hotel (built 1968) in Billund is bought and the name changed to Hotel Vis-a-Vis.
Selected Product News 1974
The LEGO family figures
A single new LEGO logo replaces the various logos that have been used until now. The new LEGO logo unifies all the company's products under one banner.
First sales to Eastern Europe (Hungary)
LEGO USA established in Brookfield, Connecticut.
LEGO Portugal established.
German psychologist Karin Grossmann writes the book "Mach mehr aus LEGO". It is a study of 200 children and their play with LEGO bricks.
Selected Product News 1973
The London Bus
Doll's house units, together with furniture components
The license agreement with Samsonite ends in the US.
The Information & Public Relations department established.
Selected Product News 1972
New LEGOLAND cars
4,4 V train (re-launch)
First sales to the Far East.
Selected Product News 1971
Doll house elements incl. furniture
The inspirational book "We play with LEGOŽ"