John Lloyd Wright & Lincoln Logs

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Wrightgeek
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John Lloyd Wright & Lincoln Logs

Post by Wrightgeek »

Interesting blog post about John Lloyd Wright's invention of Lincoln Logs, and even more interesting, his failed attempt at a follow-up product.

http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2009/11/treasured.html

Silk&Morgan
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Post by Silk&Morgan »

i just saw 3 sets on ebay sold as a lot, just listed.
Norman Silk and Dale Morgan are the owners of the Dorothy Turkel House in Detroit. They have recently "completed" a major restoration/refresh of their 1955 Usonian Automatic home.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Image

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

And did you know that the manufacturer who commissioned him owned the Beachy house in Oak Park?

Education Professor
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Post by Education Professor »

Very interesting info...no wonder I enjoyed my own set of Lincoln Logs as a child. Were JLLW's Wright Blocks sold commerically or did they just remain in the prototype stage?

EP

SDR
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Post by SDR »

From "Barry Byrne and John Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Design" (Chicago Historical Society, 1982, pp 64-5):


At the same time that he increased his attention to furnishings and ornamentation, Wright renewed his activities as a toy designer, now concentrating on construction block sets. In late 1949 he patented -- and in 1950 began to sell -- a new version of his Wright Blocks, an interlocking block set which he had first patented in 1933. These were rectilinear, cross-grooved wooden blocks packaged in "No. I" and "No.2" sets of 36 and 70 pieces respectively, which differed slightly in the types of pieces they included and in the materials used. Some sets were in a variety of natural woods while others were colored with watercolor stains. The Wright Blocks were not only more abstract and modern than Lincoln Logs, but they were also more versatile and could be assembled into lighter, more open structures. Nevertheless, they failed to catch the public's fancy to the same extent as their log cabin predecessors and were not produced in any great quantity.

Probably some time in the mid-1950s, Wright developed a prototype for another toy construction block set, the "Timber Toy" (no specific date for the toy has come to light in the Wright papers). This was the most ambitious of his construction sets, comprising seventeen different shapes which included both interlocking wood blocks and flat wood strips designed to serve as "floor" and "wall" elements, all stored in a partitioned wooden box mounted on casters. To demonstrate their versatility, Wright built and photographed a wide variety of block towers, bridges, small houses, and even a "cathedral," but he did not succeed in having them fabricated and marketed. Both the Wright Blocks and the Timber Toy resembled much of Wright's geometric wood ornament; and indeed, over the years the design of these toys had gradually become an integral part of his architectural thinking rather than an entirely separate activity. Stymied in his attempts to develop prefabricated and standardized buildings, he found an outlet for these interests in developing his toy blocks.

Pat Mahoney
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Wright Blocks at Graycliff

Post by Pat Mahoney »

Darwin D. Martin's grandchildren recall playing with Wright Blocks at Graycliff. The grandchildren donated the set of blocks which include a design manual to create various building types including a filling station. The set and manual are in Graycliff's collections at the State University of New York at Buffalo's archives. The cover of the box is a very striking multi-color graphic.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

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