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Are You Puzzled by Jigsaw Puzzles?

Updated on October 02, 2014

Fun Facts From the World of Jigsaw Puzzles

The golden age of jigsaw puzzles was during the 1920s and 1930s and in 1933 there were a whopping 10 million puzzles sold per week! Puzzles were an affordable escape from difficult times and they allowed one to feel a sense of accomplishment, which was especially important during those tough years.

Today, people still appreciate the escape, although not necessarily from difficult times, and puzzles continue to be a wonderfully affordable, low-tech way to unwind and relax.

Whatever your interest in jigsaw puzzles, read on for more fascinating facts from the world of puzzling.

This Jigsaw Puzzle design available on a wide range of merchandise designed by Zazzle artist Puzzlemaker by clicking right here.

What Is A Jigsaw Puzzle?

Jigsaw puzzles defined.

"A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of numerous small, often oddly shaped, interlocking and tessellating pieces. Each piece has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture." -- From Wikipedia

Jigsaw Puzzle History

Ravensburger's 1665 World Map Jigsaw Puzzle
Ravensburger's 1665 World Map Jigsaw Puzzle | Source

Originally, jigsaw puzzles were created on wood and then cut with a jigsaw. (Therefore, giving the name jigsaw.) John Spilsbury, a mapmaker and engraver from London, England, is widely believed to have made the first commercial puzzles in about 1760.

Puzzles today are made out of cardboard which is naturally much easier to mass produce. A picture is enlarged and glued onto the cardboard. The whole picture is then sent through a press which cuts the pieces. A 1,000 piece puzzle might require 700 tons of force to actually cut the puzzle.

The Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History

The Jigsaw Puzzle : Piecing Together a History
The Jigsaw Puzzle : Piecing Together a History

In this book, jigsaw puzzle historian Anne D. Williams talks about the history of the jigsaw puzzle, about creators and collectors of puzzles and even tells you how to make your own puzzles. An interesting book for jigsaw puzzle lovers (for when they are not working a puzzle, of course.)

 

Who Does Jigsaw Puzzles?

Loosely, people who work jigsaw puzzles can be broken into three groups.

It is hard to find the answer to this question and the following information was gathered from stories and discussions rather than from scientific facts. Loosely, puzzlers can be broken into the following three groups:

The first group includes people who assemble puzzles as a hobby. They attend competitions and often participate. They are keen!

The second group includes those who buy an occasional puzzle and generally work them during cooler weather. Often, they are worked as part of a family tradition. My family usually has a Christmas puzzle going during the holidays.

The final group includes 'casual buyers' or those who might purchase a puzzle when they happen to see one that has a topic they interested in. They usually are not brand-specific and pick puzzles under 1,000 pieces

Jigsaw puzzles are a great low-tech way to unwind and relax. A hobby that is not too expensive and can be done alone or in a group.

Types of Puzzles

Puzzles come in many different sizes but most popular are the 300-piece, 500-piece, 750-piece and 1,000 piece puzzles with the largest puzzle having 24,000 pieces. (More details shown below!) The number of pieces is not exact, but rather just over the number indicated on the box. Children's jigsaw puzzles also come in a variety of sizes and are usually age rated according to difficulty.

Amazon names an endless number of manufacturer's of puzzles and counts approximately 50 as 'top' brands.

Puzzles come in an endless lits of themes, some of which include bridges, lighthouses, buildings and monuments; funny-shaped; fictional and fantasy characters; animals and inspects; photomosaic; panoramic; geography; waterfalls, lakes and rivers; landscapes and seascapes; double-sided; alphabet, numbers and shapes; movie and television; vehicles; holidays and glow-in-the-dark.

Tricky puzzles abound. Some include double-sided, three-dimensional, puzzle globes and puzzle box puzzles. These puzzles can be made of wood, cardboard or styrofoam. I believe it is the presence of these new puzzles that is making the jigsaw puzzle popular again.

Springbok Balloon Mania Jigsaw Puzzle
Springbok Balloon Mania Jigsaw Puzzle

Springbok Balloon Mania Jigsaw Puzzle

A 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, this one has been, at times, difficult to find brand new. As I write this, however, Amazon has two of these puzzles that are priced extremely well.

The pieces in this jigsaw are random shaped, made from thick puzzle board and have a protective glaze on them. The completed puzzle measures 24 Inch by 30 inches.

Jigsaw Puzzle Trivia - A few interesting facts about jigsaw puzzles.

  • FIRST ADULT PUZZLES:

    The first jigsaw puzzles were quite difficult because they did not include a picture on the box as a guide. It was possible for the picture to remain a mystery until the very last piece was fitted into place. They must have been very good at solving puzzles!

  • DISSECTIONS:

    Jigsaw puzzles were known as dissections until approximately 1880. I am so glad that they are called jigsaw puzzles today.

  • FREE ADVERTISING PUZZLES:

    In 1932 advertising puzzles were in vogue. They were offered free with many products including toothbrushes and flashlights.

  • JIG TO THE WIG:

    Jig of the Wig retailed for 25 cents at the newsstands on Wednesdays in 1932. People hurried out to get their puzzle so that they could be the first amongst their friends and family to solve them.

  • WORLD'S MOST DIFFICULT JIGSAW PUZZLE:

    When Springbok created the first high quality puzzles on cardboard in 1965, hundreds of people attempted Jackson Pollock's puzzle, Convergence, which Springbok marketed as the world's most difficult jigsaw puzzle.

Jigsaw Puzzle Quotations

  • KRISTIN KRUEK:

    I wanted to be a forensic scientist for a long time...It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Solving mysteries seemed like it would be fun, scary and exciting all at the same time.

  • DEEPAK CHOPRA:

    There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.

  • ANONYMOUS:

    Life is a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing.

What is the largest puzzle you have ever completed?

See results

Jigsaw Puzzler Mug - A totally unique gift item for a jigsaw puzzle lover.

Purchasing Puzzles from Treasures By Brenda

An avid shopper, I love to search for and find bargains. I use my bargain-hunting skills to find treasure for you and I frequently manage to track down great finds for puzzle fans. I generally only sell new, factory-sealed puzzles. They may be recent and straight from the store or they may be vintage, collectible puzzles. They may show shelf wear and tears in the plastic or they may be pristine. My listings will tell you of any defects to the packaging. You can see my latest discoveries, in my eBay store, Treasures By Brenda.

When you shop at my eBay store, you can rest assured that customer service is my top priority. I am here, ready and willing to answer your questions or process your order.

I stand by my auctions with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. I am willing to give you a full refund, including shipping, if the item is not as described.

Every item that I ship is insured and shipped the business day after payment is received. I do everything I can to get your puzzle(s) to you as quickly as possible.

I have met many nice people through my eBay business and now I am meeting more through Hubpages. I love hearing your stories about the items you have purchased, the puzzles you collect or are working on and what it is that you are looking for. It is these stories that make selling on eBay rewarding.

Jigsaw Puzzles From My eBay Store

All include FREE U.S. and Canadian Shipping.

These puzzles are all available on eBay in my listings.

The first one is a brand-new, factory-sealed puzzle, which may have come from the factory fairly recently while others may be never opened collector's or vintage items.

The second one is a used puzzle. However, I guarantee its completeness because we have worked the puzzles ourselves.

In either case, remember that I usually only have one of this puzzle available; if there is something you are interested in, be sure to act right away in order to keep it from getting away!

"Who in the world am I?

Ah, that's the great puzzle."

~ Lewis Carroll

Are you a jigsaw puzzle lover?

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    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Hi, this is a great lens. Looks pretty optimized for 'Jigsaw Puzzles' to me. The lens health check isn't about succeeding or failing, it's about finding ways to improve your lens so it gets found more. I'll just be the first to rate it, shall I?

    • profile image

      PotPieGirl 8 years ago

      Brenda -This an absolutely FANTASTIC lens! It's creative and unique... full of fun facts... I can tell you put a lot of work into it!Keep up the great work! If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask.JenniferSquidoo Help Center

    • SherryHolderHunt profile image

      SherryHolderHunt 8 years ago

      Very interesting and great family fun, rolled to two of my lenses. *****

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I like the mystery puzzles that get you really seeing and thinking about the image in order to solve some crime. I also did a cardboard puzzle that you built around its own box - the pieces made up the four walls around an apartment bulding. You could see in each window of the apartment. Based on what was happening in each window, you had to solve a murder. That was pretty cool.

    • profile image

      lifelongfitness 8 years ago

      very unique and fun lens you have there :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens and welcome to the eBay Squidbids Group! - Kathy

    • CollectorsCottage profile image

      CollectorsCottage 8 years ago

      I love your lens! 5 BIG stars. I've always loved jigsaw puzzles, and it must be a contagious hobby because my family now loves them too. I particularly like the Americana scene puzzles. I'm happy to add your lens to the Collector Clubs group!

    • JoeTedesco profile image

      JoeTedesco 8 years ago

      It is quite obvious Brenda, that you put much thought and preparation into this lens...and it clearly shows. It is outstandingly done, and very original.

    • Arizona-Snow profile image

      Arizona-Snow 8 years ago

      I love doing jigsaws when I can find the time to do them.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Unbeliveable! Never thought that there is so many interesting informations on puzzles!

    • profile image

      GraceyGreen 8 years ago

      Wow! I remember my childhood days when I used to spend a whole lot of time hving fun with jigsaw puzzles... ohh, i miss those days.. GReat lens you have here! I like the jigsaw puzzles you featured, colorful lens... thanks for visiting my lens as well! :) 5* for you!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I didn't know there's so much one could know about the puzzle. Well done!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      Great lens! I love the hat puzzle and I had no idea there were collectors puzzles! 5 puzzling stars for you ;)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      When I was a kid and we were stuck at home due to a snowstorm, we didn't turn to the TV but pulled out a board game or a puzzle. I still love doing puzzles.Great lens.Lizzy

    • graysquidooer profile image

      graysquidooer 8 years ago

      Yes I loved doing jig saw puzzles when I was young, Heck I still do them now I'm 60 !I bought a Large box full puzzles, which looked deceivingly easy, as they had faily large piecesBut each of them took a whole lot more time to complte

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      Of course my favorite puzzle here is the Mickey Mouse one! An excellent lens. Blessed by an Angel.

    • ebay-grandma profile image

      ebay-grandma 8 years ago

      Amazing that there are so many kinds of puzzles. They are a great diversion. I know ever Cancer Center I have been to has puzzles out for the patients or family or friends to work on while they wait. Great for keeping the mind active.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I always have a puzzle on the go. I have taken to the computer puzzles now though. There is a huge box of puzzles in our storage room for our guests and yes, that's a nice way to spend a winter's day with the family all around. Lovely 5 star lens.

    • profile image

      pressingon 8 years ago

      I love doing puzzles...once I start I can't stop! Thanks for this lens.

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 8 years ago

      What a great selection! Thanks for sharing puzzle history and tidbits, too! I can't wait until my son is old enough to enjoy jigsaw puzzles with me. It's the one thing I look forward to when winter comes along - long nights over a jigsaw! 5 stars and a 'roll!

    • profile image

      seedplanter 8 years ago

      Brenda, you poured a lot of work into this lens! My mom passed away in 2004, and she loved jigsaws. She would have loved this!By the way, thanks for leaving a "footprint" at my Backyard Photo Ops site. Yes, send your son with the new SLR to me. He's going to love capturing bird images with that new camera! (I'll be adding a bird section soon.)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      Wonderful 5* lens! Did you know, btw, that doing jigsaw puzzles is recommended for helping to prevent or slow Alzheimers's disease? Healthy Brain

    • three c86a4 profile image

      three c86a4 8 years ago

      5 stars!! I didn't know the history of the jigsaw puzzle. Very interesting.

    • profile image

      mmason 8 years ago

      Excellent lens. I've always loved jigsaw puzzles. I can't believe the one that has 24,000 pieces! YIKES! 5 stars and favorite. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • candyw lm profile image

      candyw lm 7 years ago

      Your lens is fun.. So many puzzles so little time... thanks

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 7 years ago

      Interesting quote from Deepak Chopra! I like it! I think 3d jigsaw puzzles are quite neat, but I enjoy all kinds! 5 stars!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      :) blessed & linked on my 'live love laugh' lens :)

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      Lensrolled to Clairvoyance Jigsaw Puzzles and Posters :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      When I was growing up, puzzles were a part of cold winter evenings. I still enjoy putting puzzles together, but I don't have the time I used to have.Thanks for sharing.Lizzy

    • profile image

      Artemus-Gordon 7 years ago

      My kids and I love to do jigsaw puzzles. Of course we do not get as many done in the summer but the winter is a great time so often people give them to us for Christmas.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I used to collect old wooden jigsaw puzzles. Some of the pieces were cut in the shapes of animals. Delightful.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 7 years ago

      What wonderful information on jigsaw puzzles. I used to do puzzles when I was younger, and then we loved solving jigsaw puzzles when my son was younger. I lensrolled your lens to my page on The Beatles Puzzles.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I have a friend who assembles jigsaw puzzles, then varnishes or finishes them in some way. They are hanging all over the interior of her garage as decoration.I used to collect the very old wooden ones. It's amazing some of the shapes they fitted into the design.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      When I was first starting out, we would do the puzzles and then I would frame them for art on the walls. Now I am married to an artist whose paintings are on many puzzles, but I have the originals instead. How cool is that?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A friend of mine got me hooked on doing jigsaw puzzles! i buy mine from http://www.alljigsawpuzzles.co.uk/ they have a really good selection.

    • profile image

      themissingpiece 4 years ago

      Love the jigsaw puzzle products. We make personalized photo jigsaw puzzles from YOUR pictures. We love what we do, and we do it well! The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

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