Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anastasia L. Pratt
To create a jigsaw puzzle, a picture is attached to a wood or cardboard backing and is then cut into smaller pieces. When the puzzle reaches the consumer, he or she pieces it together again so that the original picture is visible. Originally educational in purpose, the jigsaw has been used to entertain and advertise since the 1800s. Besides teaching, the j igsaw puzzle allows its assembler to improve and demonstrate memory, concentration, and peripheral vision. These skills have been tested since 1760, with a variety of changes offering ever-greater challenges. The exact origins of jigsaw puzzles remain unknown, although the British mapmaker John Spilsbury began producing puzzles in 1760. His “dissected maps,” intended to instruct schoolchildren in geography, are widely believed to be among the first jigsaws. To produce them, Spilsbury mounted maps on hardwood and cut around the countries' borders with a marquetry saw. Later versions of puzzles ...