History of the Jigsaw Puzzle

History of the Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles have been around for years. The earliest form of jigsaw puzzles is believed to have been created by an engraver and cartographer, John Spilsbury, in 1760. Puzzles were created initially as a way to teach history to kids. Puzzle creators would place maps on slabs of hardwood and cut along national boundaries. This way, kids could have the fun of putting the map back together in the form of a puzzle while also learning its history and places. 

The irony of the puzzle’s history is that jigsaw puzzles were never first created with a jigsaw. Puzzles were created initially with a marquetry saw. Later puzzle cutting was performed with fretsaws, distinct from jigsaws, so it was unclear why jigsaw puzzles were named such. A majority of puzzles created in the 1800s were made out of cardboard, as it was much cheaper and easier to mass-produce than wooden puzzles. 

Although cheaper, many people perceived cardboard puzzles as lower quality than wooden puzzles; therefore, wooden puzzle creators saw profits were higher than cardboard. Starting around 1930, jigsaw puzzles were cut by large hydraulic presses that now cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Companies are able to mass-produce paperboard puzzles by these large machines, making it hard for smaller puzzle companies to keep up. 

Most puzzles come in a range of 300-1000 pieces. The largest known jigsaw puzzle is a Disney-themed puzzle with over 40,000 pieces and is the world record for the largest size and number of pieces for a puzzle. The typical jigsaw puzzle pieces are used in most puzzle companies, with straight sides and ears. More recently, wooden puzzle companies have created “whimsy pieces,” which are puzzle pieces that are intricately shaped and designed to match the theme of the puzzle. These whimsy pieces aren’t your classic puzzle piece shape; they feature irregular edges and exciting shapes, such as cars, lighthouses, leaves, etc. Our puzzles come with irregular and whimsy puzzle pieces which give another excitement to your typical puzzle.

History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle. History of the Jigsaw Puzzle.

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