The puzzle is a board game in which you have to fit small pieces of cardboard between them until you can trace the original image.

Invented around 1760 by John Spilsbury, a London cartographer and engraver, the puzzles were originally geographically themed and were made by painting the subject on a wooden board and then cutting it into small pieces, which followed the borders of the nations by a sawsaw. As time passed, the subjects of the puzzles began to change: not only geographical elements, but also historical episodes and daily life, such as the coronation of Queen Victoria (1838) or drawings of animals or fantasy. 

They also changed the materials used for their realization: while initially they used precious woods, such as mahogany and cedar (which is why the price was high and the diffusion limited), began the use of less valuable woods, resulting in a fall in price and an increase in distribution. Interlocking puzzles were introduced in 1910, with interlocking pieces. From the 1950s, wooden puzzles were replaced by cardboard puzzles, which improved the quality of printing and more faithfully reproduced famous paintings and magnificent photos. Today the puzzles continue to be made of cardboard, through a process of printing the image on anti-reflective paper and glued on the cardboard, placed later on a press that with special blades cuts the pieces. 

There are puzzles of many dimensions. As for the number of pieces, it goes from the puzzles formed by a few tens of pieces, usually dedicated to children, to the giants of several thousands of pieces. In 2020 Kodak launches the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle consisting of 51300 pieces representing the images of 27 wonders of the world, from the Coliseum to the Great Wall of China, from the Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal, divided into pictures of 1900 pieces to be assembled together at the end, for a total size of 8.60 meters long and 1.90 meters high. 

Commonly puzzles are rectangular in shape, with a ratio between the sides similar to that of photographs (4:3) or typographic formats (7:5). Much less common are round, elliptical or irregular puzzles.

The subjects available are the most varied. Very popular are the panoramas, reproductions of famous paintings and drawings of various kinds. Lately, thanks to the new technologies, it is possible to create puzzles starting from an image of own production.

Jigsaw puzzles are fun pastimes with which you can relax, but also participate in a healthy competition among friends or even in a national challenge with people who have the same passion as you.

Personally, I love doing puzzles. It’s a good way to use your concentration and test your visual memory. It’s a great opportunity to sit down with family or friends and have fun together. What is the requirement? Definitely a lot of patience

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