You’ll Be Surprised Who Invented Lincoln Logs
We honored Abraham Lincoln on his birthday yesterday, and today we focus on a toy that some history books say was named after Abe Lincoln because he was born in a log cabin.
Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
He was working with his father in Japan when he noticed the foundation of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was built out of interlocking log beams, supposedly to make the building earthquake proof. It inspired an idea for a toy. When he got back to the United States, he applied for a patent, and within two years, Lincoln Logs were on the toy shelves.
The original Lincoln Log sets included instructions on how to build a Lincoln Log cabin and Uncle Tom’s cabin. Over the years, they got more elaborate with windows and doors and even people and animals.
Originally made of redwood, the company began using plastic in the 1970s, but nobody wanted them. So they went back to wood.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s original middle name was Lincoln, and some people say that’s why his son named the toy Lincoln Logs, in honor of his father. Others say the name is actually a way of describing the toy – linkin’ logs.
Lincoln Logs was entered into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999.