The jigsaw puzzle celebrated its 240th anniversary in 2007. It had been said, "Puzzles encourage the imagination and help kids learn...They teach problem solving, lead to a sense of accomplishment and help children increase manual dexterity. Just about all our history and pop culture shows up on puzzles..."
Founded by "map dissector" John Spilsbury in 1767, it was noted, "Puzzles have universal appeal – there is no language barrier, no age limit, and they require no special skills." The first puzzle was created when John used a jigsaw to cut one of his maps into tiny pieces "to facilitate the teaching of geography".
By 1909, "there was no radio and TV, and jigsaws were a social event...A puzzle is perfect for gatherings of family and friends because people can socialize while they work on it. In fact, the puzzle often becomes the central topic of conversation."
"Doing a puzzle can be very therapeutic. It’s a quiet meditative activity that can help get your mind off the troubles of the day. You work at your own pace, spending 2 minutes or 2 hours on it, as the mood strikes you. You feel a sense of accomplishment as you see it gradually come together before your eyes. And, as everyone knows, putting that last piece in is a very gratifying experience...All of us possess these (problem-solving) skills to a certain degree. But some people have them to a greater degree than others."