ADO originated on the outskirts of Apeldoorn in the centre of Netherlands in a sanatorium called Berg en Bosch. The sanatorium was founded in 1920 and from 1925 it offered toy production workshops for tuberculosis patients.
As part of an early program in occupational therapy, recovering patients hand-made colourful wooden toys named ‘ADO’, which stood for ‘Labor by the Incapacitated’ until 1962, when it was changed to ‘Different Efficient Indestructible’. This activity prepared them transition to working life. Both sanatorium its workshops moved to Bilthoven in 1933, where they continued until 1950, when metal toys became popular. Nevertheless, today ADO remains indestructible and different, as a coveted collector’s item.