In 1949, Danish carpenter Ole Christiansen created a set of interlocking red and white blocks, the first of what would go on to become Legos. It wasn't until 1958 that the Lego company (its name derived from the Danish words for "play well") patented the small bricks. The genius was in the simplicity of the unassuming blocks, which allowed children to create freely without limits and in nearly endless combinations. (Just six blocks could be combined in 102,981,500 different ways.) Popularity boomed, and to date, Lego has produced more than 320 billion single LEGO bricks roughly 52 for each person on the planet.