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Linda Mc
832905.  Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:15 pm Reply with quote

Jigsaw puzzles were one of my favorite things to do growing up and who knew that some of the maps we use today started as puzzles... but when you think about it, it does make sense! Check out Anne D. Williams who wrote a book on the history of jigsaw puzzles - google her name and Puzzle History for a fuller account from which this is a quote.

Quote:
The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European map makers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. The "dissected map" has been a successful educational toy ever since. American children still learn geography by playing with puzzle maps of the United States or the world. The eighteenth century inventors of jigsaw puzzles would be amazed to see the transformations of the last 230 years. Children's puzzles have moved from lessons to entertainment, showing diverse subjects like animals, nursery rhymes, and modern tales of super heroes and Disney. But the biggest surprise for the early puzzle makers would be how adults have embraced puzzling over the last century.

Puzzles for adults emerged around 1900, and by 1908 a full-blown craze was in progress in the United States. Contemporary writers depicted the inexorable progression of the puzzle addict: from the skeptic who first ridiculed puzzles as silly and childish, to the perplexed puzzler who ignored meals while chanting "just one more piece;" to the bleary-eyed victor who finally put in the last piece in the wee hours of the morning.

The puzzles of those days were quite a challenge. Most had pieces cut exactly on the color lines. There were no transition pieces with two colors to signal, for example, that the brown area (roof) fit next to the blues (sky). A sneeze or a careless move could undo an evening's work because the pieces did not interlock. And, unlike children's puzzles, the adult puzzles had no guide picture on the box; if the title was vague or misleading, the true subject could remain a mystery until the last pieces were fitted into place.


<edited by Jenny to remove a link which although it was to a history page was to a commercial site selling jigsaws - sorry Linda, but we don't permit commercial links>

 
sjb
832920.  Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:09 pm Reply with quote

Well, whaddya know? I've just been reading this book. post 828771

It's fairly QI, but my judgment might be clouded by the fact that I'm a jigsaw puzzle aficionado. It's the one thing I allow myself to collect without feeling guilty. And of course I love working them. I enjoy other types of puzzles, but jigsaw puzzles are a cut above. See what I did there? :P

 
Zebra57
832934.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:15 am Reply with quote

Welcome Linda Mc

 
bemahan
832959.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:21 am Reply with quote

Hi Linda Mc! Welcome to QI.
I love jigsaws and always have done. It's a disappointment to me that neither of my children like doing them. Having said that, I only really like doing them on my own...
My dream job, as a child (and still, if I'm honest) was to find a very rich person* who would pay me lots just to watch me doing jigsaws.
Sjb - do you collect modern jigsaws, or early ones?

I've read that the 'dissected puzzle' became known as the 'jigsaw puzzle' after the invention of the jigsaw cutting tool in the 1870s.
The first powered jigsaw was invented in 1946 when Albert Kaufmann put a saw blade into a sewing machine instead of the needle.

*Edit to say that I'm now just wondering if hobittual may have a fondness for jigsaw-watching.

 
Linda Mc
833001.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:39 am Reply with quote

sjb wrote:
Well, whaddya know? I've just been reading this book. post 828771

It's fairly QI, but my judgment might be clouded by the fact that I'm a jigsaw puzzle aficionado. It's the one thing I allow myself to collect without feeling guilty. And of course I love working them. I enjoy other types of puzzles, but jigsaw puzzles are a cut above. See what I did there? :P


Haha yes they are a cut above! Have you tried to do the Jackson Pollack's 'Convergence' puzzle which is apparently the most difficult puzzle of all time?

 
bemahan
833003.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:44 am Reply with quote

Linda Mc wrote:
Have you tried to do the Jackson Pollack's 'Convergence' puzzle which is apparently the most difficult puzzle of all time?


Spooky - my husband's just ordered this for me from Amazon for my birthday.

 
Linda Mc
833004.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:45 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Hi Linda Mc! Welcome to QI.
I love jigsaws and always have done. It's a disappointment to me that neither of my children like doing them. Having said that, I only really like doing them on my own...
My dream job, as a child (and still, if I'm honest) was to find a very rich person* who would pay me lots just to watch me doing jigsaws.
Sjb - do you collect modern jigsaws, or early ones?

I've read that the 'dissected puzzle' became known as the 'jigsaw puzzle' after the invention of the jigsaw cutting tool in the 1870s.
The first powered jigsaw was invented in 1946 when Albert Kaufmann put a saw blade into a sewing machine instead of the needle.

*Edit to say that I'm now just wondering if hobittual may have a fondness for jigsaw-watching.


I'm a big Renaissance buff so I love to buy the reproductions of the earliest ones, the pictures are so beautiful and detailed. You would almost want to frame them!

Did you know it was his wife's sewing machine? Can you imagine her face when she came home and found this blade instead of a needle in post World War II Europe?! 'Aw thanks honey!' :/

 
Linda Mc
833005.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:48 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Linda Mc wrote:
Have you tried to do the Jackson Pollack's 'Convergence' puzzle which is apparently the most difficult puzzle of all time?


Spooky - my husband's just ordered this for me from Amazon for my birthday.


No way!! Have you seen the images of it...
http://arthistory.about.com/od/from_exhibitions/ig/action_abstraction/jm-aa_08_08.htm

It's stunning but I don't know if I would be able to complete it, I think I might go cross-eyed!

 
samivel
833007.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:51 am Reply with quote

Surely a single colour jigsaw puzzle would be more difficult? Particularly if it was one of those ones that don't have any outer edges.

 
bemahan
833010.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:01 am Reply with quote

I would think so. I've done ones before now with vast areas of sky where I've ended up sorting the pieces into bowls by shape and just trying the right shape piece till I find the one that fits.

When I was little we used to go to relatives' houses and they'd give me jigsaws to do but they were usually only 200 pieces which were too easy for me so I used to do them upside down.

Edit - the Convergence one shouldn't be too bad because of the colour splashes. I'll do those first and then fill in the gaps.

Have you tried the photomosaic type jigsaws? Complete nightmare. I've done a 'Winnie the Pooh' and a 'Tiger' one but I don't really enjoy them. I still have a Tigger in my cupboard unopened. Once I've started a jigsaw I don't give up so probably best if I don't start that one!

 
Linda Mc
833052.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:47 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
I would think so. I've done ones before now with vast areas of sky where I've ended up sorting the pieces into bowls by shape and just trying the right shape piece till I find the one that fits.

When I was little we used to go to relatives' houses and they'd give me jigsaws to do but they were usually only 200 pieces which were too easy for me so I used to do them upside down.

Edit - the Convergence one shouldn't be too bad because of the colour splashes. I'll do those first and then fill in the gaps.

Have you tried the photomosaic type jigsaws? Complete nightmare. I've done a 'Winnie the Pooh' and a 'Tiger' one but I don't really enjoy them. I still have a Tigger in my cupboard unopened. Once I've started a jigsaw I don't give up so probably best if I don't start that one!



Yes there's a Van Gogh 'Waterlillies' jigsaw that I started as a child and never finished it. Everytime I go back to my parent's house I try it again but it's like an early version of 3d!

 
sjb
833123.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:30 pm Reply with quote

I'm more of a modern collector, but I can't pass up a good early one. Those usually don't fall into my lap though. :)

The J. P. Convergence puzzle is on my to-do list!

One of the hardest ones I've ever finished was a Where's Waldo puzzle, believe it or not. Drove me nuts for ages. I'm a bit dyslexic, so staring at all those daggum Waldos did my head in.

I have a partially completed photomosaic jigsaw puzzle that's been under my bed on a piece of plywood for years. It's of the earth from space. I should probably try to finish that before my eyesight totally goes. :P

Indeed, single-color puzzles aren't really too hard, especially if the shapes of the pieces are non-uniform. And everyone knows, you haven't really done a puzzle until you've completed it both upways and downway. ;) I've done a few puzzles where the pieces were all square. Didn't care for that because a little bump to the work surface would knock them all over the place since they didn't interconnect.

The main puzzles I collect are of paintings by Charles Wysocki, my favorite artist. His cat paintings are simply fabulous, in my opinion. I've glued several of these together for framing.

I had a funny pipe dream when I was a kid. I wanted to open a puzzle museum with all of the puzzles I had collected. Still wouldn't mind it! :P

I enjoy edgeless puzzles and "murder mystery" puzzles. I just plain ol' love murder mysteries though. :)

Ahh, this thread makes me happy.

 
bemahan
833124.  Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:33 pm Reply with quote

sjb wrote:
Ahh, this thread makes me happy.


It's getting my jigsaw juices flowing!

 
Linda Mc
833466.  Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:53 pm Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
sjb wrote:
Ahh, this thread makes me happy.


It's getting my jigsaw juices flowing!



I love them because they keep you so concentrated. The Alzheimer Society in Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca/ has written case studies saying that puzzles can help keep the brain active for people suffering from Alzheimer's which is brilliant if it helps them.

 
Sadurian Mike
833578.  Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:52 am Reply with quote

Jigaws are okay but, as a modeller, I would want to glue them together.

And probably repaint them.

 

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