Jigsaw Puzzle Facts


Jigsaw Puzzle Facts that really are interesting!

There are many jigsaw puzzle facts, some better known than others - With this article we have tried to give you some of the more interesting & surprising ones !

Who designed & made the first Jigsaw puzzle?

The first puzzle was made in 1767 by map maker John Spilsbury. He mounted a world map to a piece of hardboard and cut around the borders of each country or continent.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - John Spilsbury's dissected puzzle

John Spilsbury's "dissected puzzle" also known as "dissected map"

What were jigsaw puzzles originally called?

Jigsaw puzzles were originally called “dissected puzzles” or “dissected maps”. They only became known as jigsaw puzzles after the invention of the jigsaw cutting machine.

Jigsaw puzzles have their own museum!

There is a jigsaw puzzle museum in the Philippines, Called “The Puzzle Mansion”. According to the Guinness World Records it has the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the world. Puzzle enthusiasts from all around the world visit the museum to view the 1500 plus puzzles.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - Jigsaw puzzles even have their own museum!

Inside the Puzzle Museum, In Tagaytay, Philippines

Jigsaw puzzles were originally used for educational purposes

It’s claimed that after John Spilsbury made his very first puzzle of a world map, he gave it to a local school, to assist the children with their geography lessons. Following this, they became an educational tool for schools and affluent families, at that time, to teach their children.

Today there are jigsaw puzzles covering probably almost any subject you can name, but puzzles of world maps & flags etc are still very popular. If you wish to view our maps & flags selection in a separate window, please hit the link here 

Or our full jigsaw puzzle selection, in a separate window, here

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - They really are good for your health

Jigsaw puzzles are good for your health

Perhaps one of the better know jigsaw puzzle facts is that Jigsaw puzzles can be good for your health. Various studies made into the subject have shown that those who do jigsaw puzzles have longer life spans, maintain and improve cognitive abilities and are less likely to develop memory loss and other illnesses connected with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Jigsaw puzzles improve memory and brain functions

There are puzzle specifically designed for Alzheimer’s disease, to present a cognitive exercise that also provides therapeutic value. Studies done on the matter have found that jigsaw puzzles improve memory and brain functions, even with existing Dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Worlds largest Jigsaw Puzzle?

The largest jigsaw puzzle was assembled in Dubai in 2018. According to the Guinness World Records, the puzzle had 12,320 pieces and covered an area of 65,000 square feet.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - Worlds largest jigsaw puzzle

The largest puzzle in the world assembled in Dubai in 2018

How long does it take to do a jigsaw puzzle?

It will take you four times as long to assemble a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle than it will to do a 500 piece puzzle. Why? Well, each time you double the number of pieces you actually quadruple the difficulty. Apparently if you were to do a 4,000 piece puzzle it would take 64 times longer than a 500 piece puzzle. I guess the only way to test this is to actually do one and time it.

In other words, the time it takes to complete a jigsaw puzzle is roughly in proportion to the square of the number of pieces, so doubling the pieces, quadruples the difficulty. No? No, me neither! Perhaps we should put this one down to one of the more confusing jigsaw puzzle facts!

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - They never use to come with a picture!!

Jigsaw puzzles did not always come in a box or have a picture on the box

One of the more intriguing jigsaw puzzle facts is that Jigsaw puzzles did not always come in a box, even up till about 1930, and if they did, there was no picture on the box. Puzzlers would consider it as a form of cheating to assemble a puzzle with a picture to help you, and if the title was a bit vague, the actual theme of the puzzle might not be known until almost completed.

What is the most expensive jigsaw puzzle?

Maybe one of the better known jigsaw puzzle facts is that some Jigsaw puzzles can cost thousands of pounds. Obviously those from the early era will ask a high price, but also puzzles with celebrity connections will attract high sale prices. One puzzle named “Knight at Stavely Castle” made by Stave Puzzles has an asking price of £5,000. The puzzle is an intricate 5 layered masterpiece with a 3D castle.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - The worlds most expensive jigsaw puzzle?

Knight at Stavely Castle made by Stave Wooden Puzzles

"Formed by five confusing puzzle layers, the stone will mystify you with its interchangeable pieces. Only by carefully configuring each layer will the knight be able to remove the sword".

Jigsaw puzzles were once a rich persons luxury

The early puzzles of John Spilsbury’s time and a while after were too expensive for the working man and only affluent households could afford such luxuries. In some parts it became fashionable for those families to choose puzzles for their social parties and gatherings. They were also a firm favourite of the Royal Family.

Jigsaw puzzles were once a form of income for the unemployed

During the Great Depression which started in the USA in 1929, spread throughout the world and did not end until 1939, many jigsaw puzzles were made by unemployed skilled and unskilled workers, to earn some form of income.

Sales boom during times of adversity

During national and worldwide tough times, jigsaw puzzles have always had a boom in sales. During the Great Depression jigsaw puzzles provided entertainment and became a cheap and pleasant way of disengaging from the troubles of that time, since most people could not afford more expensive recreation or go to restaurants. Much the same has happened with the recent lockdowns, both in the UK and throughout the world.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - Sales boom in time of adversity


Free puzzles with a stores product

In 1932 stores offered free puzzles with the purchase of their products, which was a genius move since customers would be reminded of the store’s products and the brand name all the while they were completing the puzzle.

Puzzles used to promote a companies business

Perhaps one of the more surprising jigsaw puzzle facts is that during the early decades of the 1900s, Jigsaw puzzles were used by companies to promote their company’s business.

In 1920, Great Western Railways (GWR) commissioned Chad Valley to produce a puzzle of their steam engines. Cruise liner companies such as Cunard produced postcard sized puzzles to sell on their cruise ships as souvenirs. This idea was so popular that in 1934 a large puzzle of the Queen Mary was produced before the vessel had even sailed!

There is a World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship

There is an international “World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship” held every year in Spain to find the fastest Jigsaw puzzlers.

Jigsaw Puzzle Facts - The World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship

The rules are simple, all teams face the same puzzles and under the same conditions. Each team can only have 4 players at the same time at the table, being able to make any changes at any time. 24 hours is a lot and therefore it is usual that each team is formed by 8 players. The puzzles range from 1000 to 2000 pieces and the difficulty grows harder and harder over the test.
The smallest & largest jigsaw puzzles

The Spanish puzzle company, Educa, has produced some of the smallest and the largest commercially available puzzles. In 2007 they released a jigsaw puzzle named  “Life – The Great Challenge”, containing 24,000 pieces measuring 15 feet (4.5 m) x 5 feet (1.5 m) when finished. They have also produced jigsaw puzzles containing 1,000 pieces that only measure an area, when made, of 46cm (18”) x 30 cm (12”)

If you have any interesting jigsaw puzzle facts to tell, do contact us on our 'Contact Us' page and we can post them on this page