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Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

When Were Jigsaw Puzzles Invented?

When Were Jigsaw Puzzles Invented?

The jigsaw puzzles are a delightful and perplexing challenge wherein a picture made of cardboard or wood has been cut into differently shaped pieces that must be fit together and is widely thought of as an entertaining pastime.

Jigsaw puzzles were invented in the 1760s by an English printmaker, John Spilbury, as an aid in helping school children learn their geography lessons. The puzzles were made by gluing hand-colored maps of countries onto wood, and then sawing the maps into pieces to be fitted together.

Students learned their geography lessons by putting the world maps back together. “Dissected puzzles” were individually cut by hand or with mechanical jigsaws until late into the 19th century.

By that time, they had also become known as “jigsaw puzzles.” Although cardboard puzzles entered the market, wood jigsaw puzzles remained the bigger seller. Today’s mass-produced puzzles are stamped out with steel cutting dyes.

With the invention of digital applications, the virtual jigsaw puzzle arrived in the 21st century, as a number of apps were created allowing users to solve puzzles on their smart phones and tablets.

Content for this question contributed by Heath Custer, resident of Euclid, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA