28 January, 2008

Before There Were Legos

... there were American Plastic Bricks. I saw something on the news yesterday about Lego turning 50. I recalled a set of bright red bricks from my childhood, a predecessor to the more modern Legos. I had a large can of these building bricks, undoubtedly brought by Santa Claus in the late 1950's. I remember being entranced, in particular, by the windows; casement windows, they were functional and actually swung open and closed! That was a big thing to a six year old building a model house. By contrast, I remember being highly disappointed by the roofing slabs, they were stamped cardboard and seemed quite inferior to me at the time. I balked at topping off my finished creations with the supplied materials and substituted the green, wooden slats from my Lincoln Logs instead. It was all about quality at my imaginary construction company. I didn't often follow the enclosed directions but preferred to design my own houses, walls and patios; adding all kinds of unlikely, found elements from around the house.

Today, I'm still playing with bricks. I don't always follow the directions and since matching up seams and points is paramount, I guess it's still all about quality of construction. The toys themselves have changed, but I still get that Christmas morning feeling every time I walk into my studio and pull out the components of my next, great creation! Those seeds of creativity were planted early on.

Life is Good!

17 comments:

quiltkeemosabe said...

The bricks I had were white...wonder what they were??

mamaspark said...

I didn't have those kind as my uncle made blocks for us so we used those to build with. I agree there is the same kind of anticipation when you walk into the sewing room!

Karen Dianne Lee said...

Totally neat post!!!

I forgot about Lincoln Logs. Cool memory.

Libby said...

Even though I now live in the Land of Lego - I'll forever be a Lincoln Log girl in my heart *s*

paula, the quilter said...

I was a Tinker Toy girl. Yesterday, I noticed that Google had the name 'Google' done in Legos and figured out that there was something special going on.

Laurie Ann said...

Lincoln Logs were my childhood building material. Loved those things!!

Ancestor Collector said...

I had American Plastic Bricks too!!! And I also loved the little windows and the doors that opened and closed. I used to build a house, then put doll house furniture inside. I was really quite creative, knocking down walls and rebuilding if the furniture didn't fit properly. Thanks for this memory jogger!

Quiltdivajulie said...

My sister and I had a a set of those bricks, too!! We spent HOURS building and rebuilding houses... All 5 of our sons were Lego-boys (and there are boxes of Lego bricks stored at both her house and mine)!

Lincoln Logs, and Tinkertoys were also on our play agenda ... my husband loved his Erector set.

And you're right - piecing quilts is just as much fun (maybe more, because you can sleep under a quilt)!

Teachergirl said...

Did you know that Lego is the brand name and the actual building blocks are called "bricks", not "legos"?

Shelina said...

I hadn't likened leggos to quilting, but you are right, tere are a lot of similarities. I didn't know about those blocks - we moved straight from Lincoln logs to legos.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wow...I remember that...though not from the first time around, but in the 1970's. My mom was friends with a couple that were probably in their 50's at the time and they used to let me play with their children's old toys...I'd forgotten all about it until now!

Nane said...

I went to a log home show a year or so ago with my brother in law. My six year old neice informed us she didn't need to go with us, because she knew how to make a log cabin already. She had Lincoln Logs!

Barb said...

"Lincoln Logs and Bricks" I still have them from when my children were little, the containers look a little rough but still in one piece and holding the Logs and the Bricks! My grandchildren played with them, and loved them...I will forever keep my *Logs and Bricks*! I bet they are considered antiques or collectors items by now!! Legos are just not the same LOL! Barb in PA

Marcie said...

Cute stuff Mrs. G!

Aunt Jenny said...

I am here swimming in legos..my kids have always loved them. I have kids from 30 down to 10 so our collection is big. I have never seen the bricks you had as a child..how fun that there have been "legos" for so long. We had tinker toys when I was a kid and I would have loved to have bricks like yours! You were a smart kid to use the lincoln log slabs for roofing. My cousins had lincoln logs and I remember thinking how lucky they were..haha.

Jane Ann said...

What a fun post. Raising my daughters proved to me that nature is just as important as nurture--traits they were born with are still there today. You were just warming up for the quilting world all along, weren't you?

atet said...

Ya know -- I never thought of quilting as an extension of playing with legos types of things. It really is -- thanks for the smile!