As a child I loved Jigsaw puzzles. I was a patient child and patience is almost an essential ingredient for completing Jigsaws. I grew impatient with age and left jigsaw puzzles far behind.
Over the years my Hubby started completing the occasional Jigsaw Puzzle as a means of relaxation. The large puzzles he bought were sometimes left on a large board and took weeks to finish. People who visited would slot the odd piece into place as they passed by and some even took a seat and became lost in this sort of childish pursuit.
Jigsaws have come a long way though and these days there are reversible jigsaws, 3D ones and more. There are still the small chunky pieced jigsaws that are ideal for very young children.
Jigsaws have been around for many years now. In fact for around 250 years. These first jigsaws were mainly educational though and usually portrayed maps. Each piece would represent a country and so, placing them together in the right places, helped teach children geography. These first puzzles were not fully interlocking and would all too easily be pulled apart. The slightest pull and the whole puzzle could fall apart. The picture was pasted onto wood and so the puzzles were also quite clumsy.
Once the treadle saw was around the pieces of these puzzles could be cut easily. Hence the name of Jigsaw. Although strictly speaking it was a fret saw machine cutting out the pieces.The puzzles moved to plywood and then cardboard, and began to resemble modern Jigsaw Puzzles.
Jigsaw puzzles peaked in the 1920s and 1930s but have remained popular on and off since that time. They are cheap to buy, even these days. Initially the image on the Jigsaw would be a chocolate box type of picture. It may have been a cottage with roses around the door or beautiful mountain scene.Times change though and modern Jigsaw puzzles have a selection of weird and wacky images, as well as conventional ones.
Large Jigsaws may have 5,000 plus pieces and take up a lot of room when you are working on them. Purpose made Jigsaw cloths are available which enable the Jigsaw puzzle to be rolled up and put out of sight until completed.
The good thing about these toys is that they can be put away in toy cupboards for years but be as good as new when you want to play.
A favourite toy?
Well, yes in many ways Jigsaws are. As someone approaching retirement there are few of my childhood toys that have been able to be "played" with over the years.
We still have some small, old jigsaws from our childhood in an old trunk. These are seldom played with these days as they are too small and completed quickly. However one has the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth and another has a scene from The Lost Horizon both 1950s events. I suppose this must mean that these two puzzles are antique.
My favourite Jigsaws at home though are two that only have 1500 pieces, are packed in a drum and have Salvador Dali prints as the images.
Jigsaws may, in many ways, be of the past but they help a child learn to be patient, to really observe and may keep them occupied for hours on end.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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