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LEGO® History

Developing the LEGO® wheel

Godtfred Kirk Christiansen would like to make the LEGO® brick more dynamic, and by the late 1950s several people in the Development Dept. are working on the design of a LEGO Wheel. The head of the Development Dept., Christian Lasgaard, is asked to produce the design for a wheel, which works with the LEGO Brick. It is a difficult task, and Knud Møller Kristensen, who works in the Development Dept. and has been a company employee since the 1930s, has little faith in the wheel designs already on the drawing board. Knud Møller works quietly on his own design and in 1958 sketches some examples of a LEGO wheel. Due to the fact that he had not been delegated the task, Knud Møller Kristiansen keeps his drawings to himself.
drawing of the LEGO wheel made by Knud Møller
Knud Møller’s drawing of the LEGO® wheel, 1958

Launching of the LEGO wheel

Knud Møller’s initial idea is for the wheel to sit between two LEGO bricks, but that solution proves unworkable. Instead, he produces a construction incorporating a 2x2 brick with a metal shaft, hub, and a rubber tyre which can be plugged into a 2x4 brick with holes to receive the shaft . This solution is eventually brought to Godtfred Kirk Christiansen’s attention; he likes it and has it put into production. With one or two modifications, the LEGO wheel is ready to be launched in 1962.
overview of the LEGO exhibition at the Nuremberg fair in 1962
Launching the LEGO® Wheel at the Nuremberg Fair, 1962
With the appearance of the wheel the brick becomes dynamic. This is a huge step in further developing the brick. Movement becomes an incorporated part of the LEGO System in Play as more and more brick built cars and trains enter the markets up through the 1960s.