The Fascinating History of Jigsaw Puzzles  The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

The Fascinating History of Jigsaw Puzzles

Welcome to a delightful journey through the rich history of jigsaw puzzles! These beloved pastimes have been engaging minds and captivating hearts for centuries, providing hours of entertainment and a sense of accomplishment. Let's briefly dive into the intriguing origins and evolution of this popular activity.

The Birth of the Puzzle Piece 

The story begins in the 1760s, when children's publishing began to emerge.  A young engraver and mapmaker from London who was fresh out of apprenticeship named John Spilsbury, invented the first known jigsaw puzzle. He mounted a map onto a piece of mahogany wood and carefully cut it into small pieces along the county and borders of countries. Spilsbury called his invention a dissected map.  His intention was to teach geography in a playful manner, as he was a teacher at heart. Little did he know that he was laying the foundation for a beloved form of entertainment. 

Unfortunately, Spilsbury died when he was only 29 years old.  

The Victorian Era and Beyond

During the 19th century, jigsaw puzzles gained popularity among adults, becoming a fashionable parlor activity. These puzzles were often made from wood and featured intricate designs and complex cutting patterns. Themes ranged from landscapes and famous paintings to educational subjects, appealing to various interests.

It wasn't until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that puzzles started to become associated with the upper classes, particularly during the Victorian era. Elaborate and finely crafted wooden puzzles were created, often with expensive materials and intricate designs. These puzzles were sometimes seen as both entertainment and a symbol of sophistication.  

Queen Victoria herself was known to be a puzzle enthusiast, adding to the craze and solidifying jigsaw puzzles as a favorite pastime among the upper class. The complexity of these puzzles was not only entertaining but also a status symbol, as they required patience and attention to detail to complete.

dissected map puzzle partially complete The Missing Piece Puzzle Co

The 20th Century and Beyond

The 20th century brought new materials and technologies, making puzzles more affordable and accessible. Cardboard puzzles became dominant, thanks to advancements in printing techniques. Companies started mass-producing puzzles, allowing enthusiasts to enjoy a wide variety of designs.

Technology and the availability of more cardboard provided the shift that reduced the connection between puzzles and social class, making them a common leisure activity enjoyed by people from various backgrounds.

World events also played a role in the popularity of jigsaw puzzles. During the Great Depression, puzzles provided an affordable escape from the hardships of daily life. Additionally, puzzles featuring patriotic themes or famous personalities were used for morale-boosting during wartime.

The Modern Revival and Beyond

While technology has transformed entertainment, jigsaw puzzles have maintained their charm. In recent years, custom puzzles from personal photos have added a unique twist to the traditional activity. Online platforms enable puzzle enthusiasts to connect and exchange tips, tricks, and puzzle recommendations.  There are now many forums available to puzzle enthusiasts to feature their completed work, ask relevant questions, and share their advice.

One standout player in the custom puzzle industry is The Missing Piece Puzzle Company. Based in America, they have earned a reputation for producing high-quality custom puzzles that cater to individual preferences. Their dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail have made them a leader in the industry.

The Missing Piece Puzzle Company: Crafting Puzzles with Precision

With a commitment to excellence, The Missing Piece Puzzle Company specializes in creating personalized puzzles that transform cherished memories into interactive pieces of art. Using state-of-the-art printing techniques and premium materials, they ensure that each puzzle captures the essence of the original image.

Whether it's a family portrait, a breathtaking landscape, or a special occasion snapshot, The Missing Piece Puzzle Company can turn it into a unique puzzle experience that you can enjoy time and time again.

Embrace the joy of custom puzzles and explore the endless possibilities with The Missing Piece Puzzle Company.

jigsaw puzzle history.  Woman leaning on a puzzle of the world.

Dissectologists in Today's Society

A dissectologist is someone who engages in the hobby or practice of solving jigsaw puzzles. The term "dissectologist" is derived from the act of dissecting, or separating, a picture or design into smaller pieces and then reassembling them to recreate the original image. This term is a playful and unique way to describe individuals who have a passion for working on puzzles of various sizes, complexities, and themes.

Dissectologists often find joy and satisfaction in the process of fitting puzzle pieces together, gradually revealing the complete picture. This hobby can be both relaxing and intellectually stimulating, as it requires attention to detail, pattern recognition, and spatial reasoning. People of all ages and backgrounds can become dissectologists, as jigsaw puzzles cater to a wide range of interests and skill levels.

Over time, the term "dissectologist" has become a term of endearment within the puzzle enthusiast community, showcasing the dedication and enthusiasm of those who find pleasure in the challenges and rewards of solving puzzles. Whether tackling a challenging 1000-piece puzzle or enjoying a simple puzzle with a beloved image, dissectologists share a common bond in their appreciation for this classic and enduring pastime.

In Conclusion

The history of jigsaw puzzles is a testament to human creativity, ingenuity, and the desire for engaging pastimes. From their humble beginnings as educational tools to the diverse and innovative puzzles of today, these pieces have woven themselves into the fabric of leisure. So, the next time you pick up a puzzle piece, remember that you're participating in a tradition that spans centuries!

Do you have any favorite puzzle memories or unique puzzle designs you'd like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!