The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker, is credited with inventing the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. The dissected map has been a successful educational toy ever since. American children still learn geography by playing with puzzle maps of the United States or the world. The eighteenth century inventors of jigsaw puzzles would be amazed to see the transformations of the last 250 years. Children’s puzzles have moved from lessons to entertainment, showing diverse subjects like animals, nursery rhymes, and modern tales of super heroes. But the biggest surprise for the early puzzle makers would be how adults have embraced puzzling over the last century.*
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