The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet — a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Click on image of Ole Kirk Christiansen below to begin the slide show:
Ole Kirk Christiansen, a master carpenter and joiner in the village of Billund, Denmark, owned a company that manufactured stepladders, ironing boards, and wooden toys. The company was named LEGO, which is formed from the Danish words LEgGOdt, or “play well.” In 1947 LEGO was the first Denmark company to buy a plastic injection-molding machine for making toys. In 1949 the company produced about 200 different plastic and wooden toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks, a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today.
MORE FROM DESIGN NEWS: 20 Great Engineers of the Early 20th Century
The next selection of Great Inventors will look at the later 20th century. We began this series using the term “engineers,” but some of the people who had the greatest impact on the engineering profession — Steve Jobs and Bill Gates — were not engineers. So we settled on the term, “inventor.” That still may not be entirely accurate, since and Gates were more like” assimilators.” But close enough.