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Lego: 50 Years with the Brick

01.28.2008 @ 10:01 AM in Technology

[ Timeline of Lego courtesy of Gizmodo, click to embiggen ]

The iconic studded Lego brick turns 50 today. Originally called the "automatic binding blocks," they came into existence when a humble Danish toy company called Lego bought their first injection molding machine in 1947 and in 1948 established and produced the "stud-and-tube" brick format. For 50 years, the multi colored plastic bricks have unlocked the imaginations and creativity of billions of children (and adults, too) all over the world. Legos were the literal building blocks of my childhood. From the oversized DUPLO blocks as a tot, I grew up with them, moving up a level till I settled on the Technics line (the ones with extra holes and rots and slots and motors). I was the kid that bought a set, put it together, and three days later disassembled it all for my own re-purposing. Then the first Mindstorms set came out in 1998, and I got my first taste of robotics when I replaced the RCX's firmware was able to create more complex programs for my models. I think the most complex thing I ever made was a photometer. It would track the amount of light in my room during the day and graph it on a rotating paper drum. Legos made anything possible, and really encouraged me to keep being creative.
  • What were your fondest memories with the Lego? And I'm sorry your parents didn't love you enough that you got Tyco or Mega Bloks, they don't count.