History of jigsaw puzzles and Facts of Jigsaw Puzzles

The first jigsaw puzzle was a map, and made of wood in 18th century. The challenge became a big hit, and people love the game.

Even if you are not considered yourself a jigsaw puzzle lover, you must have played one or two while growing up. So, how much do you know about its history and fun facts? We are here to tell you some fascinating information…

Not only is jigsaw puzzle a good hobby for children, but adults also love to play and it is incredibly good for health in so many ways.

So, don’t miss it and spare some time every now and then. It helps clear your mind and stay away from all the chaos in living… Take a break from all the electronic devices!

History of Jigsaw Puzzles

This great game started as early as 1766. A cartographer glued a map (some said it was Europe) on a piece of wood. He then chopped it into pieces and challenged people to assemble it. Soon, this became a big hit!

Jigsaw puzzles officially appeared in 1873. They were made of wood and chopped into parts with a jigsaw. Yes, this is where its name comes from. In the beginning, the pieces were irregular in shape and could not really hold together like the modern versions.

Gradually, they became more and more popular. More than just toys or entertainment, jigsaw puzzles were also developed for teaching lessons, like alphabets.

More themes started to emerge, including animals, scenery, and heroes.

Trends in Puzzling

The early generation of puzzles did not include an image of the theme on the cover or box. So, players did not really have a clue or a reference at all, but only the name of the theme.

Till the 20th century, the main trend was still wooden puzzles. Manufacturers and retailers reckoned that “cheap” cardboard puzzles had no market at all. Customers would love them more luxurious and sophisticated. Moreover, they were worried about making less profit using cardboard.

Later, mass production started to take shape, thanks to the die-cut machine. Metal dies (or molds) were pressed to chop on cardboards to make puzzles. This is how and when jigsaw puzzles started to get fashionable and trendy.

Popular themes are often scenery, artwork, paintings and cartoon characters, etc. then. Nowadays, manufacturers keep seeking more creative ideas, like no border/edge, one color as a whole, or on each piece. This brings so much fun for anyone who wants more challenges and variations in puzzling.

Of course, with the print-on-demand and dropshipping business models, everyone can personalize his/her own designed puzzles online. Designers can also convert their artworks into products, and sell them to fans. There are plugins and platforms to help add various products to your websites or online shops, like playing cards, tote bags, and t-shirts.

4 pieces of jigsaw puzzles

Some Fun Facts about Jigsaw Puzzles

Most number of pieces

There are 551,232 pieces in total the most number of pieces on the record. The whole puzzle is 600 square meters in area. It took 1,600 students and a total of 17 hours to complete.

Fastest solver

The record was held by a 15-year-old girl, Deepika Ravichandran. She completed a 250-piece set in only 13 minutes and 7 seconds. Remind you that she did it without a picture of the theme as a reference.

Most difficult

A 529-piece Dalmatians is considered the most difficult jigsaw puzzle. The reason is that it needs to be solved on both sides. Each tile needs to be matched with the shape, color, and fit on each of its sides.

No solution?

It is a specific item for April Fools Day. The puzzle has no solution and has only 5 pieces without an end. Some customers asked for a refund later after purchasing. The company became well-known since, and they branded this as the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle. Good marketing!

What a popular entertainment

In the USA, 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles are sold annually. This is a stunning statistic!

Even a museum for jigsaw puzzles

The Puzzle Mansion in the Philippines has the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the world. It is recognized by Guinness World Records.

full screen of white pieces of jigsaw-puzzles

credit: Mel Poole

An annual world-class competition

World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship is held every year, organized by the World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation (WJPF). The most skilled puzzle assemblers around the world compete in the event. There are categories in teams, pairs, and individuals to participate. This year’s World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship was recently completed in Spain in June 2022.

National Puzzle Day

January 29 is National Puzzle Day. Even if you are not really into the game, why not spare a day to give it a try? Once a year, this is such a perfect day to have a brain workout. They are good for health in many ways, especially for kids and the elderly. Puzzling is also perfect for bonding and gatherings with family and friends.

Jigsaw Puzzles are more than just puzzles…

We have most of our entertainment online, and the same for jigsaw puzzles. There are KOLs streaming puzzling online, and there are supporters who like watching.

Like playing cards used in marketing, jigsaw puzzles are also used as promotional materials. They are often used as free gifts, along with the purchase of toothbrushes, flashlights, etc.

Of course, as mentioned above, everyone can customize their own jigsaw puzzles. You may simply print some memorable photographs and make great gift ideas. Or, even start your business with personalized jigsaw puzzles!