Jigsaw puzzle:Clark Franklin Kingston Press

Clark, Franklin, Kingston Pressca 1982

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

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. Puzzles for adults emerged around 1900, and by 1908 a full-blown craze was in progress in the United States. Because wood puzzles had to be cut one piece at a time, they were expensive. A 500-piece puzzle typically cost $5 in 1908, far beyond the means of the average worker who earned only $50 per month. The next few years brought significant innovations. First, Parker Brothers, the famous game manufacturer, introduced figure pieces into its "Pastime" brand puzzles. Pastime puzzles were so successful that Parker Brothers stopped making games and devoted its entire factory to puzzle production in 1909. Following this craze, puzzles continued as a regular adult diversion for the next two decades. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, puzzles for adults enjoyed a resurgence of popularity, peaking in early 1933 when sales reached an astounding 10 million per week. Puzzles seemed to touch a chord, offering an escape from the troubled times, as well as an opportunity to succeed in a modest way. Around this same period, cardboard became the material of choice and die-cut puzzles for adults enjoyed another surge of popularity. These pastimes, created for and enjoyed by children and adults alike, have remained popular ever since.

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  • Title: Jigsaw puzzle:Clark Franklin Kingston Press
  • Creator: Clark, Franklin, Kingston Press
  • Date Created: ca 1982
  • Location: Westwood, MA
  • Subject Keywords: magazine, collage, advertising
  • Type: Puzzles
  • Medium: cardboard, printed paper, plastic
  • Object ID: 116.1306