Wright Blocks

I’ve been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright since high school, his architecture is beautiful and stunning and always brings about a very homely and comfortable feeling when viewing his houses and buildings. John Lloyd Wright, Frank’s son, was the inventor of Lincoln Logs, but unfortunately sold the patent for the wood toy to Playskool for a measly $800 and made no profits from the sale of the toy. In an effort to create another toy that would get widespread attention, he patented Wright Blocks. From John Lloyd Wright: The War Years, on incredibleart.org:
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. 1” 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.
Ashley, my wife and partner in crime, found a box of Wright Blocks inside of a plastic bag in a bin mixed with all sorts of odds and ends at a thrift store. Someone obviously didn’t realize the value of what they donated and now we have the pleasure of being the toy’s custodians. I was contacted by ICON, a London-based architecture magazine, for use of a photo of the Wright Blocks that we had up on Flickr in an article they were going to publish about architecture toys. I informed them that the photo resolution wasn’t very high and we had lost the original file due to hard drive problems, so they commissioned me to take a studio set-up shot. What fun! After about 3.5 hours of cleaning and preparing an area, shooting the photo, and clean up in Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately, the magazine had to scrap the article but it was great knowing that I was very close to being published. I don’t have a studio and so had to improvise with getting the lighting down for the shot, here is what the photo looked like before cleaned up in Photoshop, followed by another angle of the set-up –

References: Girl’s Gone Child: Treasured Incredible Artists – John Lloyd Wright: The War Years


    1. World’s Strangest | Lincoln Logs’ Famous Inventor – and How Much He Sold Out For Said,

      May 18, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

      […] times of WWI uncertainly. Lincoln Logs were a huge hit almost immediately – more so than Wright Blocks, John’s second attempt at building blocks after he sold the Lincoln Logs rights to Playskool for […]

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    2. Lynn Corrie Said,

      November 29, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

      Hi there. I have a set of Wright blocks, in their wooden box. Do you have any idea of their worth or a source for finding out that information?

      Thank you,
      Lynn Corrie

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