Lincoln Logs were invented sometime around 1916–1917 when John Lloyd Wright was working in Japan with his father. The mold for the toy was based on the architecture of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, designed by the inventor’s father. Lincoln Logs are notched so that logs may be laid at right angles to each other to form rectangles resembling buildings. Additional parts of the toy set include roofs, chimneys, windows and doors, which bring a realistic appearance to the final creation.
In 1999 Lincoln Logs and John Lloyd Wright were entered into the National Toy Hall of Fame. In December 2014 the manufacturer announced the return of production from China to the US.