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LEGO's 80th Anniversary... of what?


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#1 davee123

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:36 PM

So, LEGO has posted that they're turning 80 tomorrow, August 10th 2012. What happened on August 10th, 1932?

I expect this was possibly when Ole Kirk made and/or sold his first toy, since his shop was in business for years prior (since arguably 1916 or 1895). LEGO started making and selling toys in 1932, which is the milestone that they use for the age of the company. But I'm not sure I've ever heard what specifically took place that they've deemed "the start". Anyone know?

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#2 happymark

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

googled this:
http://www.prnewswir...y-58018297.html

ENFIELD, Conn., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The LEGO Group today celebrates
the 75-year anniversary of its founding in Billund, Denmark August 10,
1932, by a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen. The company, which
first produced wooden toys, is now the world's leading construction toy
manufacturer, producing high quality play materials that inspire children
to build what they can possibly -- and impossibly -- imagine.

View Postdavee123, on 09 August 2012 - 03:36 PM, said:

So, LEGO has posted that they're turning 80 tomorrow, August 10th 2012. What happened on August 10th, 1932?

I expect this was possibly when Ole Kirk made and/or sold his first toy, since his shop was in business for years prior (since arguably 1916 or 1895). LEGO started making and selling toys in 1932, which is the milestone that they use for the age of the company. But I'm not sure I've ever heard what specifically took place that they've deemed "the start". Anyone know?

DaveE


#3 davee123

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

View Posthappymark, on 09 August 2012 - 08:17 PM, said:


Yeah, doesn't help answer anything, though :(

Maybe I'll check out Gary's CD and see if there's anything significant that happened on August 10th. I certainly haven't found anything online that would suggest anything interesting about that date in particular.

DaveE

Edited by davee123, 09 August 2012 - 11:04 PM.


#4 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:13 PM

View Postdavee123, on 09 August 2012 - 11:03 PM, said:

Yeah, doesn't help answer anything, though

According to that article, first line, second paragraph, "The Lego Groups entire global workforce fetes the anniversary today"  Posted Image



-On a separate note, it's also my youngest brother's (17th) and cousin's (15th) birthday Posted Image
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#5 davee123

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:10 AM

View PostLego Guy Bri, on 09 August 2012 - 11:13 PM, said:

According to that article, first line, second paragraph, "The Lego Groups entire global workforce fetes the anniversary today"  Posted Image

Well, yeah, but that doesn't answer my question.

The "company" was still in business on August 9th, 1932, and was even in business as early as 1916 (or 1895). 1932 is the year that the company started producing and selling toys, which is why the company uses 1932 as their "birth year". But what isn't clear is why August 10th in particular is the "birth day". Was it the day that they made their first toy? Was it they day they DECIDED to start making toys? Was it the day they SOLD their first toy? Or, maybe something else entirely? What's special about August 10th, that wasn't special about August 9th, since they were still in business the day before?

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#6 just2good

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:24 AM

Very interesting topic idea. TLG is pretty confusing when it comes to dates. The thing I know August 10th for is that tomorrow is my one year anniversary of the day I got into MLP:FiM. :grin:

#7 Bilbo Baggins

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:25 AM

According to brickipedia that's the day Ole Kirk founded the Lego company as a manufacturer of wooden toys :wink:

#8 davee123

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:53 AM

View PostBilbo Baggins, on 10 August 2012 - 02:25 AM, said:

According to brickipedia that's the day Ole Kirk founded the Lego company as a manufacturer of wooden toys :wink:

Yeah, but there's no source for that :(

I asked LEGO that question a while ago regarding 1932-- basically, I asked whether or not there was any "official" capacity in which LEGO registered with the government as a toy manufacturer, or otherwise. But the answer I got was pretty much "no, not really".

Certainly, they didn't SOLELY produce toys, because according to their first price list (BrickFetish says it's from 1934, but 50 Years of Play says it's from 1932), they list other products. 50 Years of Play (which publishes the same picture) says that it includes items like stepladders and ironing boards.

The details are sketchy in the World of LEGO Toys and 50 Years of Play, but it seemed to imply that the carpentry shop could have temporarily gone out of business in 1932. 50 Years of Play says:

Quote

Ole Kirk had to let the last journeyman go in December of 1931. He was paid by cheque. "Cash it at the co-op store, but tell Hans (the manager) not to send it to the bank for three months," were Ole Kirk's last words to his departing employee.

It also says that they borrowed money from Ole Kirk's family in 1932. So I thought that perhaps the company went out of business in 1932, but re-opened as a toy manufacturer. That would've made sense and connected some dots-- if he couldn't pay his last journeyman for 3 months from December 1931, that'd put it March 1932-- and perhaps he borrowed money from his family to "re-launch" his business as a toy shop? I thought that theory made perfect sense, and would account for the "founded" date nicely, since they may have been out of business in the interim. But according to sources at LEGO when I asked, that theory is actually false. So, no dice.

Hence, I'm left wondering-- what happened on August 10th?

DaveE

Edited by davee123, 10 August 2012 - 03:57 AM.


#9 Omicron

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:18 AM

1932 was when toys were starting to being made and the company was taking off. That is something to celebrate.

Not to mention the company became Lego in 1934, so they can stretch the 80 anny for the next two years as well.

-Omi

Edited by Omicron, 10 August 2012 - 05:19 AM.

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#10 Fugazi

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:08 AM

Although it's pure conjecture on my part, perhaps August 10 was the day Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Ole Kirk Kristiansen's 12 year old son, started working in the company? It might have been considered an important symbolic event in both men's lives.
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#11 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:50 AM

This sounds like a question best addressed directly to TLG itself (perhaps it should be posted in The Embassy?). I'd suggest sending an email to someone in their PR department.

#12 Big Pete

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

According to the Lego Press Release for today, it's when they founded the production company to make toys.  Either way, here's a little vig I made of Ole Kirk Kristiansen (or is it Christiansen?!) making wooden toys!  I hope you like it ?

Posted Image
Happy 80th Birthday Lego! by bigospedros, on Flickr

It's loosely based on the pics found here

Edited by Big Pete, 10 August 2012 - 01:35 PM.


#13 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:52 PM

View PostBig Pete, on 10 August 2012 - 01:31 PM, said:

According to the Lego Press Release for today, it's when they founded the production company to make toys.  Either way, here's a little vig I made of Ole Kirk Kristiansen (or is it Christiansen?!) making wooden toys!  I hope you like it ?

It's loosely based on the pics found here

That would be a much better polybag than the cake and probably more suitable as subject matter for the anniversary.

Edited by Ricecracker, 10 August 2012 - 02:05 PM.
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#14 davee123

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:03 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 10 August 2012 - 11:50 AM, said:

This sounds like a question best addressed directly to TLG itself (perhaps it should be posted in The Embassy?). I'd suggest sending an email to someone in their PR department.

Supposedly, Tormod is going to ask over at the LEGO Idea House to see if they know what significance there is to August 10th. It could be that it was arbitrarily chosen as a good day to celebrate, rather than being particularly indicative of a specific event in LEGO's history.

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#15 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

View PostHrw-Amen, on 10 August 2012 - 01:52 PM, said:

That would be a much better polybag than the cake and probably more suitable as subject matter for the anniversary.

It'd also be more expensive for them to hand out for free. The cake may not be the swankiest set ever, but it's still quite nice, all things considered.

#16 davee123

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:31 PM

View Postdavee123, on 10 August 2012 - 02:03 PM, said:

Supposedly, Tormod is going to ask over at the LEGO Idea House to see if they know what significance there is to August 10th.

We heard back from Tormod-- apparently, in 1957, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary. However, at the time, they selected August 10th arbitrarily as a good day for the celebration, which was a Saturday. Also, I believe that's roughly the time of year towards the end of people's typical vacations in Denmark, at the end of the summer.  That year, the LEGO employees gave a gift to the company-- a sundial with the date, August 10th engraved in it.

Ever since then, August 10th has been regarded as the birthday of the company! Mystery solved!

DaveE

#17 CM4Sci

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:03 PM

This was just uploaded to YouTube.



-Sci

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image   Posted Image


#18 morcianknight

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:54 PM

View PostCM4S, on 10 August 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

This was just uploaded to YouTube.

-Sci
Am I the only who finds Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen's scene at the end a bit creepy?

It would be cool if they brought out a big collection of books of memoribilia from Lego's history. Stuff like posters and brochures all printed together, or replicas of old items. I think there was something similar in the Legoland Windsor 10th Birthday book they made. Wish I went there that year, it looked so cool, like three pages of old Lego's history I think.

Edited by Fugazi, 10 August 2012 - 11:37 PM.
removed quoted media


#19 The Blue Brick

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:17 PM

View PostCM4S, on 10 August 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

This was just uploaded to YouTube.

-Sci
I really enjoyed this video, felt like a small movie. :classic:

Edited by Fugazi, 10 August 2012 - 11:36 PM.
removed quoted media


#20 Fugazi

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:36 PM

View Postdavee123, on 10 August 2012 - 04:31 PM, said:

We heard back from Tormod-- apparently, in 1957, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary. However, at the time, they selected August 10th arbitrarily as a good day for the celebration, which was a Saturday. Also, I believe that's roughly the time of year towards the end of people's typical vacations in Denmark, at the end of the summer. That year, the LEGO employees gave a gift to the company-- a sundial with the date, August 10th engraved in it.

Ever since then, August 10th has been regarded as the birthday of the company! Mystery solved!
Thanks for sharing the official answer, it's an interesting tidbit! :sweet:

View Postmorcianknight, on 10 August 2012 - 09:54 PM, said:

Am I the only who finds Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen's scene at the end a bit creepy?

It would be cool if they brought out a big collection of books of memoribilia from Lego's history. Stuff like posters and brochures all printed together, or replicas of old items. I think there was something similar in the Legoland Windsor 10th Birthday book they made. Wish I went there that year, it looked so cool, like three pages of old Lego's history I think.

View PostThe Blue Brick, on 10 August 2012 - 10:17 PM, said:

I really enjoyed this video, felt like a small movie. :classic:
Please don't quote images or videos unless it's really necessary! :classic:
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#21 Jargo

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:55 AM

I found the whole animation creepy. Something about the sanitised version of events and really odd posture of all the characters. Felt like a cult indoctrination film.

As far as the 80 years thing goes, I only measure from 1954 when System was introduced. That's when LEGO really became LEGO everything before that is just humdrum. 1954 brought LEGO out of the shadows and thrust it onto the global stage. That's worth celebrating. In two years time.



#22 Bilbo Baggins

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:11 AM

That video was awesome, I knew most of this story but it is nice to see it presented this way :thumbup:

#23 Omicron

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:34 AM

View PostJargo, on 11 August 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

As far as the 80 years thing goes, I only measure from 1954 when System was introduced. That's when LEGO really became LEGO everything before that is just humdrum. 1954 brought LEGO out of the shadows and thrust it onto the global stage. That's worth celebrating. In two years time.
Already celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the brick 7 years ago. With the 30th Anniversary of the fig in 2008(?). I don't see why it isn't important to celebrate the birth of the company.

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#24 davee123

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 03:20 AM

View PostJargo, on 11 August 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

I only measure from 1954 when System was introduced.

You mean 1955? I'm not aware of anything really interesting happening in 1954, apart from that being when Godtfred had the conversation with the chief buyer for Magasin du Nord, which later inspired the 'system of play'.

View PostJargo, on 11 August 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

That's when LEGO really became LEGO everything before that is just humdrum.

1955 was the start of the LEGO "system" of play, with the town plan and other associated sets-- from my understanding, that, in combination with the stud-and-tube system in 1958 really got LEGO going. And LEGO has celebrated the 1958 anniversary. Not so much the 1955 one.

From the way you say "System", however, I'm wondering what you mean-- today, we refer to "System" as the scale of regular LEGO bricks (as compared to DUPLO, Modulex, Jumbo, Quatro, Soft, Primo, or whatever). That scale was introduced in 1949, and was "perfected" in 1958 with stud-and-tubes.

The "System" in 1955 refers to the fact that there were many similar toys in a toy line that were meant to be combined and added to. Previously, LEGO bricks were just general "boxes of bricks". But now, there was an explicit purpose to the bricks-- IE, adding to the "Town Plan" set.

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#25 just2good

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 03:26 AM

View PostCM4S, on 10 August 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

This was just uploaded to YouTube.
-Sci
Great video. I'm pretty sure the animators are the ones for the Friends TV series. Happy 80th, TLG. :sweet:
Oh, and I'm amazed the said "damn" in this. Now we know they cannot deny the BTTF project! :grin:

Edited by just2good, 11 August 2012 - 03:46 AM.




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