Ole Kirk Kristiansen established a business on August 10, 1932 that eventually became the LEGO company. But it didn't start out with building bricks and minifigs. He sold ladders, some furniture, and wooden toys. Eventually, of course, the toys really took off.
The shop was called LEg GOdt, or “play well” in Danish. Later, it would come to light that the phrase also means “I put together” in Latin.
The business started small, manufacturing small wooden toys. World War II kept Godfred home in the shop rather than traveling to Germany for school as he had originally planned. By 1949, the Kristiansens had hired 50 people and released the first LEGO forerunner, the “Automatic Binding Bricks,” sold exclusively in Denmark with four or eight studs, in four different colors.
Read more about the history of the LEGO company at Smithsonian. Link
(Image credit: LEGO Group)