Lincoln Logs

From Academic Kids

Lincoln Logs are a toy consisting of notched miniature logs, about 1-2cm in diameter. Analogous to real logs used in a log cabin, Lincoln Logs have notches in their ends so that small model log buildings can be built. In addition, a Lincoln Logs set has windows and doors to make the buildings more realistic. More modern sets also come with figures of humans and animals that match the scale of the buildings. The sets invoke the history of the American frontier, with such sets as the Pony Express or the Conestoga Homestead.

Lincoln Logs were invented some time between 1916 and 1917 by John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1918 they were marketed by the Red Square Toy Company and John Lloyd Wright Inc., of Chicago and were an overnight success. Lincoln Logs originally came with instructions on how to build Uncle Tom's cabin as well as Lincoln's log cabin.

The architecture of the Imperial Hotel basement in Tokyo designed by John's father, which used a unique foundation of interlocking beams to make the structure "earthquake proof", likely played an inspirational role in the making of the toy logs.

The toy can easily produce a structure resembling a log cabin, hence the association with American president Abraham Lincoln (who was said to have spent his childhood in a log cabin).

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