Ole Kirk Christiansen
A carpenter in the 19th century
By: Kai Zheng
Ole Kirk Christiansen was the Founder of “The Lego Company” after being a carpenter. Ole was born on April 7, 1891 and died on March 11 1958 at the age of 66. Ole was born in Filskov, South Jutland, Denmark and did most of his famous workof Lego in 4 Hovedgaden Billund Denmark. Ole was the 10th son of an impoverished family in Jutland. His father’s name was Jens Niels Christiansen and his mother’s name was Kirstine (Andersen) Christiansen. Ole began tending sheeps at the age of 6, and to pass time during the long hours outside, he carved small wooden figures.
Ole’s family was quite poor but Ole managed to get a basic high school education. In 1905 at the age of 14, Ole was apprenticed to his older brother, Kristian Bonde Christiansen to learn carpentry. In 1911, Ole left Denmark to work abroad as a carpenter. When Ole returned to Denmark, using his savings, Ole bought “The Billund Maskinsnedkeri og Tømreforretning” (The Billund Carpentry Shop and Lumberyard).
When Ole was still a carpenter, he lost his job during the Great Depression. Soon after, his wife Kirstine died, leaving Ole to take responsibility for his four sons.Ole is a unique person because he wasn’t the type to give up. To earn money, Ole started to build and sell wooden toys using the leftover wood in his factory, and that’s when Ole started the Lego production that at the end it turned out to be successful toy company. But on a Sunday afternoon, in 1924, the workshop and the house burned down to the ground, and all of the models and drawings were destroyed. Ole was about to lose hope, everything that he had worked for was gone and he almost lost his company, but being responsible for his children and workers inspired him to rebuild the company. Soon after, a new and larger factory was constructed and the production of wooden toys continued.
In 1934, Ole launched a competition to name the company. The prize was a bottle of his own homemade wine. He won it himself. The name that Ole thought of was Lego, it is a shortened form of the Danish words leg godt, meaning “play well”, and the company grew to become “The Lego Group”. In 1951 Ole suffered a stroke, beginning the decline in his health. Sales of both the wooden and plastic toys continued to go well and in 1952 Ole decided to expand the factory, an expansion much larger than what was needed. Ole was able to make toys on his own with fine detail and sell them to the world.
Ole’s leadership started a company where the lego products continue to be passed down from one generation to the next, sparkling the creativity and imaginations of millions of children and adults all over the world. Ole never gave up, even when times were hard. Ole only believed in high quality and not cheating his customers. Ole now is remembered for being the founder of the Lego company. Ole is a honest, sedulous person and Ole is my model because he never gave up and never lie about how good the quality of his toys are since that he builds his toys with the highest quality materials. The things that I like about Ole is that he doesn’t give up, he doesn’t lie, and he works hard to achieve his goals. Ole only believed “Only the Best is Good Enough” and that “Children Deserve the Best”.