Puzzles have been entertaining people for centuries. There are many different types of puzzles, but one of the most common is the jigsaw puzzle. We have the British cartographer and engraver, John Spilsbury, to thank for creating jigsaw puzzles. 

In this post, we’ll explore the history of the jigsaw puzzle, how to make your own jigsaw puzzle, and how to preserve a jigsaw puzzle. Wondering how jigsaw puzzles are manufactured? We have the answer! 

Who invented the jigsaw puzzle? | MakeYourPuzzles

The Beginning of Jigsaw Puzzles

Puzzles have been around for thousands of years. However, jigsaw puzzles originated from the 18th century. European mapmaker, John Spilsbury, mounted one of his maps on wood. He cut along the border of each country in the picture, creating smaller pieces.

He then gave the puzzle to a school, and it became a great educational tool for teaching geography. Spilsbury took the success of his first puzzle and turned it into a business. He made puzzles with nine different themes, using maps of the world, Europe, America, Asia, Africa, England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. 

Soon, many schools began using these puzzles to create a fun and interactive learning environment for their students. Eventually, the puzzles featured other subjects besides geography. They had landscapes, biblical scenes, and paintings. Adults also enjoyed putting these puzzles together. 

These puzzles were labor-intensive and expensive to make. Spilsbury could only make a small number of puzzles at a time because there was no way to mass-produce them. 

family photo jigsaw puzzle | MakeYourPuzzles

The Rise in Jigsaw Puzzle Popularity

Fast forward to the 19th century, where the invention of the jigsaw meant people could make puzzles quicker and easier. A jigsaw is a vertical saw that can cut intricate shapes, making it perfect for puzzle pieces. 

By the 20th century, the puzzles were made from cardboard, making them more affordable. During the 1930s, many companies started using jigsaw puzzles as a way to advertise their products and services. They gave the puzzles away for free with ads for their products on the puzzle. 

These puzzles grew in popularity during World War I and World War II. People were looking for distractions and ways to keep themselves busy. The jigsaw puzzle was the perfect way to unwind during a stressful time.

Today, jigsaw puzzles are no longer manufactured with a jigsaw‒although the name has stuck! Instead, pictures are printed and pressed onto cardboard, then cut into intricate shapes using modern laser cutters.  


Create Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle

You can create your own custom jigsaw puzzle at MakeYourPuzzles–we can turn your photos into a puzzle for your whole family to enjoy! You can even take a page from Spilsbury's book and make an educational puzzle for your kids. 


Our digital printing process offers high-quality results without the use of toxic ink. Plus, we use the latest low-energy manufacturing technology, and our puzzle board is made from 100% recycled material.


Every puzzle comes in a customizable puzzle box. It also makes a great gift for any puzzle lovers in your life. After they're done putting together their custom puzzle, they can even frame it to preserve it!

Family vacation photo collage jigsaw puzzle | MakeYourPuzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles Are Here to Stay

The invention of the jigsaw puzzle helped children learn, but its benefits went beyond the classroom. Whether you need a new hobby or a way to relax, jigsaw puzzles are still a great tool. MakeYourPuzzles offers a way for you to make personalized puzzles for your collection!

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