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  • Theodor Meinhardt

LEGO - how a small company became a global corporation

You've probably seen a LEGO brick before, but you might be wondering what the story behind a brick is?

In 1932, a talented carpenter named Ole Christiansen lived in Billung. He was well respected and had his own company, but times were tough and he had to lay off every last worker. Ole thought it couldn't get any worse, until he lost his wife. But Ole was not a person who simply gave up and since he had four sons to look after, he decided that he had to go on somehow.

He built his sons a toy and when he saw that they had a lot of fun with it he decided to open a toy business. Because he still had enough wood in his carpentry workshop, it was not a problem to make the toys. After school, his son Gottfried often rushed to help him and so they managed to make ends meet. Ole only uses carefully selected wood of the best quality. And one day a wholesaler placed an enormous order with him – but canceled it again shortly afterwards. And so Ole sold the toy himself. Time passed, but there was no breakthrough in sight. So that more people could remember the company's name, he named it LEGO.

The company made more and more profit and became more and more successful, but then almost the entire factory burned down. But as you know, Ole is not a person who gives up and so he took matters into his own hands and opened a new factory. The factory ran smoothly and Ole bought a plastic injection molding machine. Ole designed the LEGO brick and as a result went into production. But in the summer sales dropped and the company had too much in stock, so Gottfried took matters into his own hands and – very successfully – sold LEGO toys across the country. But on the way back from a business trip, he was to experience an important conversation. He was talking to a retailer about the fact that toys didn't have a system and he couldn't shake off the idea of bringing a system into the toy. His first LEGO system (i.e. LEGO set) was released in the same year and sold incredibly quickly.

The game system became so popular that he was able to sell it in many countries. Suddenly you could not only build houses with LEGO, but now also completely different objects. But there was one big problem - the LEGO always fell apart into all its individual parts and so Gottfried reinvented the LEGO brick so that it had more clamping force. This system of LEGO bricks is still used today. But before the little stone became really successful, Ole died. Gottfried was now on his own and he had to catch another fire in which the whole wooden toy compartment burned down but he decided not to rebuild this part and instead to produce more and more LEGO bricks, there were more and more different sets. He set himself bigger and bigger goals, built his own Lego airport and even made sure that the dream of Legoland came true.

And even today, LEGO wants to continue to develop to create a world without limits and endless imagination for children.

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