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Jigsaw puzzles earned their name from the materials used to make them in the 1800s. The jigsaw treadle allowed puzzle-makers to cut unique shapes from pictures quickly, giving them the name 'jigsaw puzzle.'

People have been enjoying puzzles for centuries thanks to the inventions in the 1800s.  They've come a long way, from smaller puzzles to 500-piece jigsaw puzzles and bigger. Discover where the jigsaw name came from and the history of this great puzzle. We'll also explore jigsaw puzzle storage ideas and how to solve a jigsaw puzzle.


Why Is It Called a ‘Jigsaw Puzzle?’ | MakeYourPuzzles

Who Invented Jigsaw Puzzles?

The first puzzles invented were labyrinth or maze-type puzzles made by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. The first puzzle you could assemble was an Ostomachion, a fourteen-piece dissection puzzle that forms a square. 

The jigsaw puzzle you see today came into existence much later. The first jigsaw is believed to have been created in 1762 by John Spilsbury, a map developer who put one of his maps onto wood and cut around the countries. He gave the puzzle to a local school to help the children learn geography. 

Others soon duplicated Spilsbury's puzzle concept. Early puzzles had images of farms and religious scenes, as well as maps. These puzzles were called 'dissected puzzles,' until the jigsaw was used to cut the pieces in the 1800s. 

The History of Jigsaw Puzzles

Once the jigsaw was invented, puzzles saw rapid growth. The treadle jigsaw gave puzzle makers the ability to create intricate shapes quickly. They began making puzzles that were more difficult to solve. 

Lithographic printing techniques were refined by the end of the 1800s, when they were able to print higher-quality images onto wood. The colors were more vibrant, which was ideal for jigsaw puzzles. Plywood was also invented during this time, which was more affordable and easy to cut puzzle shapes out of.

The Popularity of Jigsaw Puzzles

​​Jigsaw puzzles are still popular, although they are no longer made using a jigsaw. Many people enjoy assembling them for various reasons. 

Completing a puzzle can feel relaxing and be a simple way to destress. Puzzles can be challenging and help with cognitive function. Assembling a puzzle stimulates both sides of the brain–you have to use both logic and creativity to solve a puzzle. 

Jigsaw Puzzles with photos | MakeYourPuzzles

They are also still used for their original purpose in schools and at home: helping children learn. Working on a puzzle not only stimulates the brain, but it can also help children keep themselves busy while disconnecting from digital devices. 

The best way to help children solve their first jigsaw puzzle is by telling them to start with their pieces picture-side-up. Next, they can sort the puzzle pieces into two groups: the center and the border pieces. They can assemble the border first and then work on the center. Puzzles with fewer pieces are ideal for beginners. 

Where to Buy a Jigsaw Puzzle

MakeYourPuzzles allows you to create custom jigsaw puzzles using any pictures you’d like! Our puzzles are beloved because they are high-quality and personalized–you can use a family portrait, a picture of your pets, or a vacation photo to commemorate a trip. The puzzle will become a keepsake to cherish for years to come. 

Our puzzles come in a custom puzzle box that is easy to store and that can neatly fit in a closet or on a bookshelf until you're ready to assemble. These custom puzzles can also make a great gift–check out the options available from MakeYourPuzzles today!

Photo Collage Jigsaw Puzzles | MakeYourPuzzles


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