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The History of Puzzles

Ever since the engraver and cartographer John Spilsbury of London, is believed to have produced the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767, things have progressed far, yet paradoxically have also remained very true to their roots. Jigsaw puzzles typically come in 300-piece, 500-piece, 750-piece, and 1,000-piece sizes; however the largest commercial puzzle has 32,256 pieces! In addition to a multitude of children’s puzzles, there are also Family Puzzles -which come in 400-piece with three different sized pieces from large to small, allowing a family or puzzlers of different skill levels and different size hands to work on the puzzle at the same time – and even three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles and puzzle globes.

Jigsaw puzzle pieces were first used as a symbol for autism in 1963 by the United Kingdom’s National Autistic Society. The organization chose jigsaw pieces for their logo to represent the “puzzling” nature of autism and the inability to “fit in” due to social differences, and also because jigsaw pieces were recognizable and otherwise unused. Puzzle pieces have since been incorporated into the logos and promotional materials of many organizations, including the Autism Society of America and Autism Speaks.