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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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How Long Have Jigsaw Puzzles Been Around?

The first puzzle was produced by John Spilsbury, a London engraver and mapmaker, in 1760. Mr. Spilsbury attached one of his maps to a sheet of hardwood and cut out the borders of the countries with a saw. The map puzzle was used to help British children learn geography.

By 1880 pictures were glued or painted onto plywood, then cut with a fretsaw into different shapes. The word jigsaw puzzle became the popular name for the new favorite entertainment. Sometime in the late 1800’s cardboard was used for children’s puzzles.

Today jigsaw puzzles are made out of wood, cardboard and a variety of plastic materials. They are used to help children learn and for entertainment.

Visit the American Jigsaw Puzzle Society to learn more about the history of jigsaw puzzles.

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