Founded in 1932 in Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen, the LEGO Company manufactured, amongst other things, ironing boards and wooden toys. LEGO as we know it today began life in 1949 when the company started producing plastic "Automatic Binding Bricks", which were branded with the name "LEGO" a couple of years later. In 1958 the bricks were redesigned with the tube and stud system to make them more durable and stable. This is the same design that is still in use to-day.
Nowadays, The LEGO Company produces a wide range of products and themed sets whilst still concentrating on the "basic brick". There are four LEGOLAND theme parks worldwide and "pick-a-brick" shops where you can buy exactly the bricks you require in a wide range of colours.