Catching up with friends, watching The Big Bang Theory for about the 10th time, reading a novel, tidying up around the place, or…solving a wooden jigsaw puzzle! There’s a ridiculous number of ways how to pass time on gray days or make Christmas Day dinner more exciting for the whole family, but we’ll focus on the last option for now.
What is a jigsaw puzzle?
Simply put, jigsaws are a type of game that involves assembling a lot of pieces (typically mosaicked and irregularly shaped) to form a complete image. When we think of a wooden jigsaw puzzle for adults, we mainly think of a hobby that helps us relax, recharge, and have a perfect me-time. The reality is that, in addition to being a nice pastime, jigsaws are known to have physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits. From boosting your problem-solving skills and teaching you patience to enhancing motor coordination and serving as the so-called “occupational therapy” for those who suffer from brain injuries. All these cute dopamine providers have their own unique history rooted (surprise!) in the fields of geography and education.
History of the Jigsaw Puzzle
You’ve definitely never heard it in high school.
What are jigsaw puzzles if not an adult-and-kid-friendly pastime that has been to hell and back with us? Pandemics, the great depression, world crises, and wars. They were there for us when we were combatting the Spanish flu. They got us through the Cold War conflict and accompanied us during the space exploration era.
And today (just like years ago), jigsaws are seeing a real boom in popularity. People seek relaxing activities to unwind after a hectic day at work, and puzzles seem to embody both – a stimulating solo pastime and a cooperative game.
But who invented the jigsaw puzzle? How? What were the first jigsaw puzzles made of? How did they become a thing?
Well, a long, long time ago…
Who Invented the Jigsaw Puzzle?
The history of the jigsaw puzzle dates back to 1760 when the very first puzzle was created by John Spilsbury. A British engraver and cartographer mounted a map of Europe onto wood and with the help of a marquetry saw cut around every country. These so-called “dissected maps” became a common educational tool during geography lessons. Teachers used the first puzzles to increase the visibility in the teaching process quite successfully.
Spilsbury was stunned. Taking into account how successful his brainchild was, he started a business and manufactured several categories of puzzles: Ireland, England and Wales, Europe, America, Scotland, Asia, Africa, and the World. The customers (including the reps of the Royal family!) were excited to get a collection of jigsaws that perfectly combined modern teaching methods and traditional pastimes.
What Were the First Jigsaw Puzzles Made of?
Mahagony and cedar wood were the first materials ever used to produce puzzles. As it’s been already said, the 18th-century inventor painted a handmade picture on a rectangular piece of wood with a flat surface. Then he cut the piece into small bits. It would be quite a long time before puzzlers would see the invention of what is known as the cardboard jigsaw puzzle.
Today, as in the old days, you’re privileged to order a wooden jigsaw puzzle made of quality and sustainable wood. Just a couple of clicks and a laser-cut masterpiece with longstanding history is on its way to you!
We’re so happy to be part of the time-tested art of jigsaw manufacture. If you’re on the lookout for ways to get your mind off a gloomy day, we’ve got you covered. We make sure to frequently update our online collection with new up-to-date products.
Today, makers of the wooden jigsaw puzzle for adults and kids use some of the latest techs and designs to produce puzzles of all possible sizes. Here at our company, we successfully combine eco-conscious materials, stunning graphics, lasers work, and variety of sizes to comply with customers’ demands.
We’ve come a long way to be able to provide you with a wide assortment of items of different sizes. If you’re new to puzzling, keep in mind that larger pieces are easier to assemble. Our 167-piece puzzles are great for kids and those young at heart. Not only is this puzzle size easier to solve, but it is also a better option for those suffering from vision impairment.
A wooden jigsaw puzzle that comprises 388 details is a medium-level product that is tougher than the one mentioned above and yet doesn’t require you to learn formulas to solve it.
With 455 details comes the twisty brainteaser for passionate puzzlers! Pieces cut in such numbers are more difficult to match to where exactly they appear to be in the image. What size is a 500-piece puzzle? Well, it is roughly the size of 50 cm.
When choosing the size of your next puzzle, ensure to ask yourself, “What is it that I’m looking for – an intuitive puzzling or an activity that requires certain tactics to solve it?” The point here is that jigsaws vary from a “piece of cake” to a real challenge with 1000, 2000, 3000, and more details to assemble. What would you choose?
Jigsaw Puzzles vs Puzzles
Whether you choose jigsaws or puzzles to rack your brains over during long winter nights, quality time spent with family is a great bonus to the bonding activity.
Wait, did we say jigsaws OR puzzles?
Those asking, “What is a jigsaw puzzle vs puzzle?” may we have your attention, please? When it comes to the jigsaw puzzles vs puzzles question, both terms should be clarified before you hit the “To Buy” button. Basically, both are just mind-teasing “games” with one designed specifically and unconventionally.
Simply speaking, a jigsaw puzzle is a type of puzzle with an image cut into many small pieces that have irregular edges. To solve the jigsaws, you must fit those interlocking details together. At the same time, a puzzle is a wide term that includes jigsaw puzzles as well. While jigsaw pieces are differently shaped, the elements of a standard puzzle look quite identical.
Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle vs Cardboard Jigsaw Puzzle
Making a choice can be tough, especially when the variety of options is mind-blowing. In the case of puzzles, the tastes of puzzle geeks have certainly transformed over the years. That is why creative craftsmen did their best to provide tons of delightful works of jigsaw art. As a result, the time spent with friends or family members on a puzzle challenges the mind, feeds creativity, and satisfies the collective craving for competition.
But one question that puzzle fans tend to ask is, “What’s better – a wooden puzzle or a cardboard one?”
By the time WWII hit the globe, puzzle makers found an alternative to good old wooden jigsaws. The quality of cupboard puzzles had a lot to be desired, but at least more people could use them to distract from tough times. What is it that a cupboard puzzle has to offer today?
- Cardboard puzzles are still the cheapest options.
- They are lightweight and easier to manufacture.
- Puzzles created from cardboard can be as big as you like.
How about the wooden brain games?
- Unique jigsaw puzzles as they are. They give a sense of authenticity to the true collectors that no other product can.
- Jigsaw puzzles are kid-friendly. Why? They have a smooth surface that makes them pleasant to hold, are made of non-toxic materials, are great for dexterity, and can’t be easily broken.
- When engraved, wooden jigsaws make a one-of-a-kind birthday, thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special occasion gift.
- Jigsaws made of wood withstand the test of time and successfully last for years to come.
- Woodwork provides a more traditional feel and looks for puzzle nerds.
- Hand contact with brainteasers made of wood continues to be a great aid against depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Both cardboard and puzzles crafted from wood come with a range of unique benefits. However, only wooden jigsaws radiate a premium feel and guarantee supreme quality that lasts for generations to come.
Jigsaw Puzzle Facts
Multiple studies prove that puzzle fans tend to have longer life spans. With the jigsaw puzzle facts listed below, you’ll live a longer and more intellectual life. So, here we go.
- Jigsaws started to be produced for the mass market only when die-cut devices were invented (20th century).
- A long time ago, jigsaws were something only a person with a tough wallet could afford.
- The name of the jigsaw puzzle is derived from…a saw. The device was used to cut the very first pieces of a puzzle.
- Sales were sky high during the times of the Great Depression (10 million items per week!).
- The toughest jigsaw to assemble was Convergence. A product manufactured by Springbok Editions was an imitation of a well-known work of art by Jackson Pollock. The puzzle comprised 340 pieces and, based on the company reps’ words, it was “the most difficult puzzle in the world.”
- If there’s a temple of jigsaws, it’s located in the Philippines. There’s a whole museum dedicated to the hobby loved by many. The Puzzle Mansion features a rich collection of puzzles and is located in Tagaytay.
Now that you know more about the puzzles and the history behind this skill-building activity, feel free to join the game that is worth your time. You just need to find the puzzle that will 100% kick your screen time habit, turn on some strategic and logical thinking, and see how hours of matching the pieces become a complete image. It’s worth the effort.