It is always very interesting to solve jigsaw puzzles, especially when they feature beautiful paintings of popular artists or other works of art. It gives you the opportunity to feel as if you are creating these artworks with your own two hands.
“Every day is sort of a jigsaw puzzle. You have to make sure that you're putting the most important things first.” Julia Hartz
You can find different versions of how a puzzle appears, depending on the source.
According to one version, the birthplace of puzzles is Germany, in which the production of puzzles and their export had started in the 18th century.
According to the French version, puzzles were invented in France by a professional teacher, Madame Beaumont, who was French, but lived and worked in England from 1748 to 1762. She was the head of a private school and released a collection of children's fairy tales.
The most famous founder of the jigsaw puzzles is considered to be John Spilsbury, a member of the Royal Geographical Society, who in 1761 cut a map of England and Wales into pieces.
To make a puzzle, he began to stick black and white prints of geographical maps on a luxurious thin panel of Lebanese cedar and mahogany and cut the resulting «sandwich» into small pieces of a fancy shape. Each piece contained some geographic information, and, collecting the necessary area element by element, the student studied geography.
John Spilsbury received a patent for his invention and opened a map puzzle store, thus putting the production of jigsaw puzzles on a commercial basis.
For decades only maps have been used to make puzzles. Later, portraits, images of historical battles, even biblical events and paintings by famous artists were used to make jigsaw puzzles as well.
The first factory production of puzzles as we know them today was opened in 1909 in the US. The company "Parker Brothers" decided to reduce the cost of puzzles’ production to the maximum and began to make them from a cardboard. This allowed to significantly reduce their price and, as a result, led to widespread popularity around the world.
In addition to traditional puzzles from cardboard with a different number of elements and type of cutting, there are also wooden puzzles made from high-grade wood and covered with ecologically pure paints.
Fluorescent or luminous puzzles have a surface, which is covered with a special fluid that accumulates light and makes the contours of their main elements glow in the dark.
Volume holographic puzzles show the pictures and images that change depending on the angle of viewing.
Ball puzzles are plastic balls with slightly concave parts that, when assembled, form a very durable ball that does not need additional gluing and can be stored on a special stand.
3D puzzles are voluminous puzzles of medieval buildings, cars, ships, front garden houses or the Seven Wonders of the World. Using a special protective layer allows you to assemble them in such a way that the design does not fall apart.
There is an international prize named after Spilsbury, which is given to people who have made significant contributions to the development of puzzle recognition. So, in 2007, this prize was awarded to an American, Ann Williams, for writing two books on the history of puzzles and a number of articles on the effects of puzzles on popular culture.
Interesting jigsaw facts
The educational task of puzzles lies in the formation of images and ideas in a man. In order for puzzles to contribute to the development of thinking, a person must focus on the plot of the picture. Puzzles are equally loved by children and adults all over the world.