Christmas signifies the usual things for me: family, presents, roasting a whole pig. But one thing that is more specific to me at this time of year are puzzles.
I love jigsaw puzzles. And I always get a new one for Christmas.
So this Christmas Day, I present you with some facts about the history of the jigsaw puzzle.
- Puzzles were originally used to help teach geography and the first one made is attributed to a British Guy named John Spilsbury. He put a map onto wood and then cut it using a jigsaw along the national boundaries. Then the kids would have to put them back together. Geography!
- In the early 1900s, puzzles didn’t always interlock or include pictures to help guide you with how the finished product is supposed to look. I’ve done puzzles upside down but at least the pieces interlocked.
- Puzzles became popular during the Great Depression offering a mini escape from some terrible times. They became cheaper too because manufacturers began using cardboard. They were also great because you could do them over and over and over and over…
- The Enigma, star of the 1995 The X-Files episode “Conundrum”, has an entire body covered in puzzle pieces.
- My favorite puzzles are Ravensburgers.
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