The History of the Jigsaw Puzzle

There are some games that have endured the test of time and one such game is the jigsaw puzzle. In the 1760’s an English mapmaker and engraver, John Spilsbury, created the first ever jigsaw puzzle by gluing a map to piece of wood then cutting the piece of wood into hundreds of intricate designs. At the time jigsaw puzzles were used primarily as an educational tool by teachers, children would put a map together and learn about geography at the same time. It remained a popular educational tool until the 1820’s.



In the 1920’s the jigsaw puzzle experienced its “Golden Age” as the process of making puzzles became more streamlined and allowed for the creation of cheaper and more difficult puzzles. The puzzles became geared toward adults as an inexpensive leisure activity, not toward children as an educational tool. The Puzzles were so popular that they were able to be sold even during the depression. Family members could each have their turn at a puzzle or they could assemble it together and then trade their puzzle for another puzzle from a neighbor. The Great Depression was not an easy time and the people living through it quickly realized a jigsaw puzzle was a great way to help them relax.

In 1964 the jigsaw puzzle saw a small spike in popularity once again as the famous German game developer Ravensburger began producing jigsaw puzzles. To date Ravensburger has produced hundreds of different jigsaw puzzles, including a puzzle that was released in 2010, in which they broke the record for manufacturing the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world at 32,000 pieces.

Today, thousands of jigsaw puzzles remain in circulation on store shelves and online. In fact, many people who prefer to do jigsaw puzzles alone have opted to find free online jigsaw puzzles to play with on sites such as Jigsaw Planet rather than going to the store to buy one. The modern era of jigsaw puzzles has also brought about the printing of personalized jigsaw puzzles, many printing companies offer the opportunity for you to upload any picture you want to be printed onto a jigsaw puzzle. The jigsaw puzzle looks to be well on its way to become 300 years old.


Learn more about the history of jigsaw puzzles at:

jigsaw planet