Growing increase in Oak Park, Illinois, man Lloyd Wright spent hour after ~ hour in the “wonderland playroom” design by his father. Underneath a soaring barrel-vaulted ceiling, the 2nd child of renowned architect candid Lloyd Wright built his very own wonders using just his imagination and a repertoire of assorted structure blocks emerged by Friedrich Froebel, the German educator that championed the concept of kindergarten.

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By the moment he turn 24, john was working side-by-side through his father as chief assistant on the style of Tokyo’s imperial Hotel. Challenged with the challenge of building a structure that might withstand the powerful earthquakes that regularly shook Japan, frank Lloyd wright sketched an ingenious style that relied ~ above a device of interlocking wood beams that would enable the hotel come sway but not fallen in instance of a tremor. (The imperial Hotel would certainly be one of the couple of buildings that remained standing after the 1923 an excellent Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo.)


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The relationship between father and son, however, crumbled over money long prior to the earthquake-proof hotel was ever before constructed. Out-of-work, john Lloyd Wright turn his fist to a pint-sized style project. In 1916, utilizing the blueprint for the imperial Hotel as a model, he created a toy construction set that contained notched piece of hardwood that kids could stack to develop log cabins, forts and also other rustic buildings. Unequal Froebel’s building blocks, the interlocking mechanism of miniature logs could withstand the shockwaves unleashed by children’s playing approximately with the toys.


In 1918, john Lloyd Wright began to sector his production through his very own firm, the Red Square Toy Company, and also two years later he got a patent because that his “toy-cabin construction.” he bestowed upon his production an alliterative name that additionally evoked an American icon—Lincoln Logs. The toy came v instructions to build not only Abraham Lincoln’s Kentucky boyhood home, however a renowned log structure from the pages the American literature, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The toy’s packaging featured a simple drawing of a log cabin, a tiny portrait the Lincoln and also the slogan “Interesting playthings typifying the soul of America.” Capitalizing top top both a nostalgia because that the frontier at a time once the United states was ending up being increasingly urbanized and also a wave of patriotism in the wake up of civilization War I, Lincoln Logs came to be an immediate success.

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Lincoln Logs adhered to the trail blazed by Tinkertoys and also Erector Sets, which had been presented a few years earlier. Some scholars likewise believe john Lloyd Wright together a child maybe played v the log Cabin Playhouse, a similar wooden construction collection that had actually been arisen by toy company Ellis, Britton & Eaton in the 1860s.