Frank Lloyd Wright was possibly the greatest architect the world has ever seen. But he did children another great service: he became father to a son named John.
In 1916, John Lloyd Wright, obviously exposed from a young age to the concepts of designing and building structures, invented a construction toy that might inspire other future architects. He called them Lincoln Logs, one of the most instantly recognizable brand names in history.
Legend has it that he noticed the interlocking beams that his father used in designing the basement of the Imperial Hotel in earthquake-prone Tokyo, and a light bulb went off in his head. True or not, we do have John Wright to thank for one of the most timeless toys ever made.
Not only did WE play with them, our parents may have done so too! But since they probably grew up in the Depression era, they likely made do with building toy cabins out of sticks and slabs of wood. But we were fortunate enough to grow up in Boomer times, and we were indulged with the real deal: genuine Lincoln Logs.
The set I had came in a canister just like I have pictured.
They were simply a perfect design. You could create in a few minutes amazing buildings. Sure, they were always log cabins, but you had tremendous creative room to use your imagination. My G.I.Joe had some bodacious forts, thanks to my creativity and my trusty Lincoln Logs.
The parts were big enough to make them harder to lose, unlike Tinkertoys (which will receive their own article later). The plastic gable ends and chimneys were durable enough to last as long as the wooden logs themselves.
Like everything else, Lincoln Logs have changed with the times. They are still in production, and still very popular.
You can tell yourself you’re getting them for your grandkid. I won’t tell.