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Are You Puzzled by Jigsaw Puzzles?

Updated on September 2, 2021

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

© 2008 Treasures By Brenda

working

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