What Are Some Fascinating Facts About Jigsaw Puzzles?
1. In the USA more people enjoy jigsaws each year than any other table game
2. The most expensive modern jigsaws are made out of wood like the one on the right from Stave
3. A skilled craftsman can cut up to 100 pieces per hour but 25 – 50 pieces per hour is more usual. On our Resources page you will find a link to many Internet retailers of wooden jigsaw puzzles
4. The Stave Company of America make and sell the most expensive range of modern jigsaws. As long ago as 1993 a Stave puzzle was sold for over $12,000. Stave make many jigsaws each year that are eagerly snapped up at prices of over $5,000 each
5. The fastest way to do a jigsaw is to sort all the different colors into groups before you begin. The real ‘Experts’ stand up all the time because sitting cramps their style!
6. For a 1,000 piece jigsaw it will take you about 30 minutes to get all the pieces sorted the right way up with the ‘Straight edge’ pieces separated out. You need to double this time to sort all the pieces into rough groupings of color.
7. Although it may seem odd, it will take you four times as long to do a 1,000 piece jigsaw as it will to do a 500 piece jigsaw. This is because each time you double the number of pieces you quadruple the difficulty. Before you start a 4,000 piece jigsaw, bear in mind that it will take you SIXTY FOUR times longer to complete it than it takes you to complete a 500 piece one!
8. The Educa Company of Spain has the distinction of producing some of the smallest as well as some of the largest commercially available jigsaws. The jigsaw to the left contains 1,000 very small pieces in an area 46cm x 30cm whilst ‘Life – The Great Challenge’ (released in 2007 and measuring 15 feet by 5 feet) contains 24,000 pieces
9. Jigsaws lost popularity for a while but are now making a resounding comeback. Possible reasons for this are: better production techniques have led to better puzzles; quality puzzles have been seen to appreciate considerably in value; they make a pleasant break from the all-pervading computer games!
10. Wooden jigsaws are attracting a growing number of enthusiasts because laser and water jet technology have brought retail costs down to reasonable levels
11. Special glue is available with which to ‘mount’ completed jigsaws and then hang them on a wall. Remember though that once you have used it, you no longer have a jigsaw! It cannot be re-made and it will not appreciate in value
12. Craftsmen are constantly developing ways to make it more difficult to solve jigsaws. Innovations include ‘The Phoney Corner’ (a fake corner piece in the MIDDLE of a puzzle) and ‘Color Line Cutting’ (a piece cut exactly along the dividing line between different colors – a pure green piece can then join a pure blue piece and neither piece gives a clue to the color of its neighbor)
13. In 1989 Stave released a jigsaw puzzle with no solution – much to the rage of the many puzzlers who unknowingly strove to complete it!
14. The most pieces ever assembled together in a single jigsaw was 209,250 at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel in Taiwan
15. The word ‘Jigsaw’ is so ingrained in the English language that over 140 British registered companies contain it in their trading title
16. There are a number of companies who will take a photograph supplied by you and make it into a quality wooden jigsaw. The jigsaw on the right is from Jayem Jigsaws
17. A recent technological innovation for jigsaw cutting is the water jet. This necessitates water pressure of up to 20 tons per inch and results in water travelling at twice the speed of sound
18. The first jigsaws (called ‘dissected maps’) were cut nearly two and a half centuries ago
19. In the late 19th century an average wooden jigsaw cost over £1.00 – more than most people earned in a week
20. Although a 500 piece cardboard jigsaw can now be manufactured in the twinkling of an eye, it takes about four and a half weeks for a craftsman to assemble the form that cuts it
Here is an extra fascinating fact just for luck:
21. Dave Evans from Weymouth carved a massive 40,000 piece jigsaw puzzle in April 2013 that was the largest hand-cut puzzle ever made. Unfortunately it collapsed and the catastrophe was caught on video! Read all about Dave’s disastrous world record attempt.