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Lego is a toy line of interchangeable bricks and re-combinable play pieces developed by the Lego company. The name Lego is an abbreviation of the Danish expression leg godt, or, “play well,” in English, and the company has historically aimed to make the activities its name describes possible. This entry examines the company’s history, its impact on 20th-century childhood play, Lego’s educational and creative uses, and some contemporary critiques of the product, specifically its reinforcement of normative gender roles.

The History of Lego

Purchased by the Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, as the Billund Machine Joinery and Carpentry Business in 1916, the company that would one day become Lego arose from economic necessity. With demand for furniture and renovation plummeting at the beginning of the depression, Christiansen ...

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