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Inventors and Inventions
The 1950's
Building a Lego World



Building a Lego World
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.34

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    locking, studs, manufacturers, billion, behavior, batch, sales, concrete, design, phrase, sandcastles, wherever, imagination, impressive, durable, improve
     content words:    Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Ole Kirk Christiansen, Kiddicraft Company, Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricks, Lego Company, Automatic Binding Bricks, Harry Potter Legos, SpongeBob SquarePants Legos, Lego Mindstorms


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Building a Lego World
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Children have always found ways to build things. They build sandcastles on the beach. They build cabins from cardboard boxes. They build forts in the snow. Wherever they find mud or sticks or stones, they create new structures. In earlier days, wooden blocks, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs found a place in children's toy chests so they could build at home. But since the 1950's, a colorful plastic building block has become part of the building game for many children.
 
2     A poor carpenter in Denmark tried to earn extra money by making and selling wooden toys. His name was Ole Kirk Christiansen. In 1947, he and his son got samples of some interlocking plastic bricks. These bricks were made by the Kiddicraft Company. A doctor studying children's behavior had designed the bricks. They got the impressive name of Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricks.
 
3     Christiansen and his son decided that they could improve upon the design of these building bricks. They formed their own company which they named Lego. Lego comes from a Danish phrase "leg godt" which means "play well." The Lego Company produced its first locking bricks in 1949 using the name Automatic Binding Bricks. These bricks had round "studs" on top and a hollow bottom. The studs slid easily into the bottom of another brick and held in place.

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