We offer a range of high quality jigsaw puzzles using photographs taken by Paul. Our range of puzzles are mostly of local scenes, Kendal jigsaw puzzles or Lake District jigsaw puzzles, but we also have some from further afield as well as colourful still life photo jigsaw puzzles. The popularity of jigsaws has risen in the last twelve months but did you know they have been around for over 250 years?
John Spilsbury, a British cartographer and engraver, is credited with creating and then commercialising jigsaw puzzles around 1766. Spilsbury served as an apprentice to King George III's Royal Geographer, and his early jigsaws, known as dissections, were produced by mounting maps on sheets of hardwood. The hardwood sheets were cut along the map boundary lines, creating puzzles that were used to teach children geography.
The first commercial jigsaw puzzles were also created by painting or mounting a picture onto a flat piece of wood, and then hand cutting the wooden picture into small pieces. It was some time before manufacturers began to use cardboard rather than wood as the base of the puzzle pieces. Most modern jigsaw puzzles are made out of cardboard as the puzzle pieces are easier to produce than the original wooden models.
Laser cutters are available but most jigsaws are currently produced using a machine press. The photograph, or any flat piece of artwork, is first glued onto a cardboard sheet. When the glue has dried, the cardboard sheet is fed into a press and the press forces a set of hardened steel blades, known as a die, with the desired jigsaw pattern through the cardboard until it is fully cut. The procedure is similar to making shaped biscuits with a cookie or pastry cutter but the forces required are much greater. Machine presses for cardboard jigsaw puzzles can typically generate 100 - 700 tons of force to push the blades of the puzzle die through the board. This is how our range of 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles is created. We select a heavyweight sheet for our puzzles so they are thicker, and being of a higher quality than many others found on the high street they should last longer.
People love the challenge of putting together jigsaw puzzles and more than 250 years after the inception of the jigsaw, producing jigsaw puzzles is still a thriving industry.