John Lloyd Wright, the son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs in 1916.
The idea came to him during a visit to the building site for one of his father’s architectural wonders in Japan.
He saw the crew moving several large timbers into place using a process called ‘floating cantilever construction’.
This process entailed placing these logs together in an interlocking fashion to create structures.
The younger Wright saw the potential for a great child’s toy in a miniaturised version of the process and set to work creating such a toy.
The finished toy set consisted of miniature hardwood logs cut into various lengths. Small indentations in the middles or ends of these logs allowed enterprising junior architects to lay them end to end to create buildings of their own.
Wooden blocks made in roof and chimney shapes were also included so the young master builder could top off their creations in the proper style.
One of the easiest buildings that could be made with this original set was a log cabin.
Since it looked like something Abraham Lincoln might have lived in, Wright decided to call the toys ‘Lincoln Logs’ as a tribute to the former US President.
Lincoln Logs were introduced to the public in 1924.
They quickly became a big hit because they were simple enough for young children to enjoy, but could also offer enough challenges for the imaginations of older children.
As the years passed, more complex Lincoln Logs sets were developed, incorporating new items like square logs, bricks and wheels.
Since their introduction, over 100 million sets of Lincoln Logs have been sold around the world.
Today, Lincoln Logs continue to be a popular item at the toy store. Hasbro, Inc. and K’Nex Industries, Inc. forged a licensing agreement in 1999 that allows K’Nex to sell the classic Lincoln Logs construction set.
Thus, there is no doubt that Lincoln Logs will continue to bring the joy of construction to children around the globe for many years to come.