20 Fascinating Facts about Jigsaws
1. In the UK 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
Jigsaw Puzzle Contacts and Links page you will find a link to many Internet
retailers of wooden jigsaw puzzles).
4. The Stave Company of America hold the record for the most expensive modern
jigsaw – it was made in 1993 and was sold for over £8,000. Stave makes many
jigsaws each year that are eagerly snapped up at prices of over £3,000 each.
5. The fastest way to do a jigsaw is to sort all the different colours 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
77. 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 both the smallest
and the largest commercially available jigsaws. The jigsaw to the right contains
1,000 very small pieces in an area 46cm x 30cm whilst the largest jigsaw they
make is 3.21 metres x 1.57 metres and contains 18,000 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
- 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 that allow
you to 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 "Colour Line Cutting" (a piece cut exactly along the
dividing line between different colours - a pure green piece can then join a
pure blue piece and neither piece gives a clue to the colour of its neighbour).
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. Go to our
Jigsaw Puzzle Contacts and Links page to find a link to a number of
companies who make this type of puzzle.
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
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.
Back to our
Jigsaw Puzzle Info page.