The dies for stamping out cardboard puzzles have continued to improve since the 1930/40s and some very interesting and attractive puzzles have been made in recent years. Also available are "mega-puzzles" of 3000 to 10,000 pieces which only a masochist with lots of time on their hands should attempt. Needless to say, they are not our "cup of tea".
Over 300 proverbs and idioms are shown in this scene by artist T.E. Breitenbach. Maker is Bits & Pieces, Auburndale, MA, diecut cardboard, interlocking. Puzzle is displayed to compare scenes with puzzle cut by Conrad Armstrong, "Proverbioms".
Silhouette puzzle made by Ceaco Co., Watertown, MA 1991. One of the criticisms of diecut cardboard puzzles is that they don't have special techniques of handcut wood puzzles such as color line cutting, figure pieces, irregular edges, etc. This puzzle is cut partially along color lines with irregular edges and 30 figure pieces including railroad car figures which can be joined outside the puzzle to make a winding train. Artist is Jane Wooster Scott. Truly a top quality cardboard puzzle.
We do not collect or assemble oversized cardboard puzzles, especially if stripcut. Not enough time left in our lives for thisk! Puzzle displayed was picked up by me at Brimfield Flea Market in Brimfield, MA back in 1992 fully assembled and glued to plywood, as a wall decoration for our basement. Since then, it has been covered up wit stacks of wood puzzles awaiting to be assembled. Anyone want to buy it? Made by Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO 1986, cardboard, interlocking, a few edge pieces missing over the years but otherwise in good condition.
ca. 1965 500 pieces
23”H x 17”W
Parker Brothers / Saturday Evening Post Covers
Parker Brothers also made diecut cardboard puzzles, including this one, the last in a series of Saturday Evening Post covers the Company issued in puzzles in 1950/60 period. Artist is, of course, Norman Rockwell, who painted many covers for the Saturday Evening Post magazine.
Billed as "The World’s Most Difficult Puzzle" and produced by Springbok Editions of New York City in 1964, this cardboard puzzle sparked resurgence of interest in jigsaw puzzles which had fallen on hard times after WW II. Springbok collaborated with major art museums to produce quality cardboard puzzles from prints of artwork in their collections, and included in puzzle boxes descriptions of the artists and works of art (as well as color copies). The puzzles helped familiarize the public with pictures at the museums and spurred attendance as assemblers wanted to see the actual works of art after laboring so long to assemble puzzles made from copies. Artist here is Jackson Pollock. Frequently, cardboard puzzles produced today are billed as "World’s Most Difficult Puzzle"; "Convergence" was the first of many.
After WW II interest in America in jigsaw puzzles faded although hand cut puzzles continued to be available along with low quality cardboard scenic puzzles. Then in 1964 Springbok Editions published quality cardboard puzzles using images of artwork in museums around the country. These puzzles became popular almost instantly, and buyers frequently visited the museums to view the original artwork. Interest in quality jigsaw puzzles has remained steady and even grow since then. There are several websites devoted to Springok puzzles. A more interesting one is at: http://www.geocities.com/jigsaw4me/
Cardboard puzzles are produced in many places around the world. We purchased this colorful example from a street vendor in the old Jewish Quarter in Prague, Czech Republic in 1994. Artist is J. Votruba; puzzle comes with "make your own box". While promoted as "for Children", it clearly is too advanced for most children and would challenge many adults.