Cartographer John Spilsbury carved out a unique invention in 1766 when he cut a wooden map into an array of curved pieces as an educational toy. Since then an endless number of ‘jigsaw puzzles’ have been created in different sizes and shapes but the general overall concept remains so simple and effective that it has rarely changed in 200 years.
Nevertheless, the original wooden puzzles were soon created from cardboard and cut with a fretsaw (not a jigsaw). In the 1930s, hydraulic presses were employed in their manufacturing for increased mass production. During the Great Depression, jigsaw puzzles boomed in popularity and became a ubiquitous household item among adults as well as kids.
Later, roller presses replaced the larger expensive hydraulic machines used in the puzzle making for many years. Today puzzle sizes can range from 300 to 40,000 pieces.
"Jigsaw Puzzle Blues" by Fleetwood Mac
According to Wikipedia, jigsaw puzzles recently surged in popularity during Covid lockdowns. It’s a testament to the timeless and enduring appeal of a classic recreational hobby the world continually returns to time and again. Nothing really puzzling about that.