Legos are fantastic toys to satisfy anyone from young to old, with these toys you can build Marvel sets to Harry Potter sets. Legos have been around since 1932 and were made out of wood and metal, it is now 2018 and the legos have since then had a major progression in how they look. Nowadays legos are small plastic pieces that come in sets but back in 1932 you would just get random lego pieces and you would have to purchase more to get the right pieces for that specific set.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen is the founder of Lego, Ole Kirk was born in Omvrå Mark, Blåhøj-Filskov parish, Denmark, on April 7, 1891. When Ole got to the age of seven, he worked as a smallholder but later he moved to a farm near Filskov. On November 1903 Ole Kirk became an apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner to his brother, Kristian Bonde Kristiansen.
On February 1, 1916, Ole at the age of twenty four bought Billund Maskinsnedkeri for DKK 10,000. The Billund is a community consisting of small farmers. Billund factory crafts doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and coffins. The USA and UK place restrictions on imports, and this brings the crisis directly to the Danish farming community in 1930. Butter and pigmeat prices fall sharply, and as these products represent a huge section of Danish exports, life becomes very difficult for Danish farmers.
Many farmers are forced from their farms. The economic crisis also has serious consequences for Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Farmers and smallholders, his most important customers, can no longer afford to carry out carpentry and joinery work, and in 1931 he has no option but to let his last journeyman go. After years of being successful finally the economy hit and this made Ole switch to making toys for little kids, which became a worldwide success.
1932 is a difficult year for Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Reflecting the crisis in agriculture, his carpentry and joinery business is not doing well. He is forced to lay off his last journeyman employee, and in the midst of his economic troubles he loses his wife, and finds himself alone with four sons aged between 6 and 15 years. Ole’s son Godtfred Kirk Kristiansen would become a junior vice president of the company in 1950, on his 30th birthday.
In 1957 Godtfred became a Managing Director, but the following year Godtfred became the head of the company after his father died to a heart attack on March 11, 1958. By 1960, Godtfred had bought out his three brothers to become sole proprietor of the company. Godtfred got married to a woman named Edith Kirk Christiansen which he had three kids with named Gunhild Kirk Johansen, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and Hanne Kristiansen. On October 1969 Hanne and Kjeld were driving home from watching a movie and the car lost control and slid off the road killing Hanne and seriously injuring Kjeld. After this incident Godtfred went into a depression and considered selling the lego company. In 1979 Godtfred son Kjeld became president and CEO of the lego company.
In 2004 Kjeld stepped down from his position of president and CEO to focus on being the owner of the lego group and vice-chairman of the board. While Kjeld was maintaining his role as vice-chairman of the board KIRKBI A/S, Lego Holding A/S and the Lego Foundation. Lego is privately held and is controlled by the Kristiansen family and their foundations. Kjeld and his wife, Camilla, live in Denmark and have three children and two grandchildren. His youngest daughter is the danish dressage rider Agnete Kirk Thinggaard.
The production of lego is a complex algorithm, these robots make small toys for kids and adults to play with and get lost in time building and using them. Making legos all start with tiny plastic grains called granules which come in a bunch of different colors. From there trucks filled with granules drive up to one of the lego factories all around the world, where giant hoses suck up the granules and then dump them into three story high metal silos. There are 14 silos and each one can hold up to 33 tons of granules.
From the silos, the plastic granules are fed down pipes to the molding machines. Inside the molding machines, the granules are superheated to a temperature of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This melted plastic goo is fed into molds, little metal containers shaped like hollow lego bricks. Think of them as very complicated versions of the ice cube trays you keep in your own freezer. The molding machine applies hundreds of tons of pressure to make sure the bricks are shaped with perfect accuracy. Then they are cooled and ejected, which only takes about 10 seconds.
Because of the dangerous conditions and high precision required, the molding process is almost completely automated. Finished pieces roll down conveyor belts into boxes. When a box is full, the molding machine sends a radio signal to one of the robot trucks that patrol the hall. The robot trucks are guided by grooves in the factory floor. They pick up full boxes and place them onto another conveyor belt that takes them onto the next step of the manufacturing process. The next stop in the manufacturing process is the assembly halls where details are printed on and multi-part pieces are put together.
Faces, control panels, numbers, words and other decorative details are stamped onto bricks by a giant printer. Some lego pieces like minifigure legs are made up of several pieces that fit together. These complex pieces are snapped together by machines that apply pressure with great precision. The final step is putting all the right pieces together to make complete lego sets. Sets can have hundreds of different pieces, so the packaging process has to be fast and accurate.
Boxes called cassettes roll on conveyor belts underneath the bins that hold each type of piece. The bins open and close to release the right number of pieces into each cassette. Finally, packing operators fold the boxes and add the building instructions and additional pieces and look out for any machine-made mistakes.