The word "puzzle" in translation from English means "riddle" or "puzzle". And the first puzzles appeared a very long time ago - back in the 60s of the 18th century.
It all began with the fact that the London cartographer and publisher John Spilsbury decided to make an original textbook for the study of geography. Spilsbury glued the printed paper map onto a thin board, and then sawed it with a jigsaw into separate parts along the contours of state borders.
The invention quickly gained popularity in English schools, the study of geography turned from boring memorization to an exciting game. Puzzles were purchased even for royal children. True, at that time the puzzles were not cheap: the cost of the set exceeded the average monthly earnings of an English worker.
For a long time, puzzles were used only to compose geographic maps from separate fragments. Only in the 19th century, thanks to the development of printing technology, puzzles began to be made from cardboard, which made them accessible to the general population. In addition, from black and white puzzles have turned into color. Puzzles began to be produced on a wide variety of topics: reproductions of paintings, photographs, cars, and so on. In our time, it is difficult to come up with a topic that would not be used for puzzles.
In the United States, in the first half of the last century, there were even tournaments for speedy puzzle-collecting. In team competitions, huge canvases were collected, consisting of thousands of small fragments. By the way, even now such tournaments are held, although much less frequently.
In our country, puzzles, or as they were then called, "puzel" appeared even before the 1917 revolution. Even Vladimir Nabokov wrote about such a hobby in his famous novel The Defense of Luzhin. But in the Soviet Union, puzzles were never released. The reason for this remained unknown.
In 2001, the government of Liberia issued a collectible silver jigsaw coin dedicated to the signs of the lunar calendar.
Assembling jigsaw puzzles is not only interesting, but also a useful activity: doctors say that this hobby is an excellent prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Nowadays, in order to collect jigsaw puzzles, it is absolutely not necessary to go to the store for them. On the Internet, you can find a huge number of options for this fun with a very different number of fragments and ways of connecting them. Online jigsaw puzzles are finding more and more fans all over the world.