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Jigsaw puzzle, booklet and illustrated guide

Date: c 1880
Overall: 164 x 104 mm, 0.016 kg
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Jigsaw puzzle set
Object No: V00031665
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    This set includes a colourful 47-piece children's educational jigsaw puzzle, along with a colour plan of the completed jigsaw and a 24-page guide booklet 'The Building of the Ship'.

    The puzzle illustrates a ship's initial design, laying out the plans, building the hull in a covered dry dock, raising the masts, sail making, forging the anchors, launching the ship, loading cargo at the docks and the ship under full sail.

    The booklet explains the choice of iron as the building material, how the ship is designed, the reason for using a naval architect, the use of the mould loft and the builder's shed. It goes on to provide a full and accurate description of the ship building process. It then describes the launching, mast stepping, the sail makers loft and anchor-smiths shop. Lastly, the booklet gives credit to the enormous effort of the 'lumpers' who load the cargo before the vessel is underway.
    SignificanceThis is a rare complete children's jigsaw puzzle set from the late 19th century. Although the British shipbuilding industry was the largest in the world during this period, jigsaw puzzles relating to their design and construction are unusual. Complete children's jigsaw puzzles from the 19th century are now very scarce, as they are almost always lost with use.
    HistoryJigsaw puzzles were first offered in Europe in the mid 18th century in the form of dissected maps as a new tool for teaching children geography. Educational purposes continued to drive puzzle design and by the early 19th century, biblical, moral, historical and technological subjects were commonly presented in jigsaw puzzle form. Early puzzles were very expensive, hard crafted luxuries, often costing more than the average labourer's weekly wage. But as mass production techniques became common, puzzles became more affordable. This puzzle would have originally sold for around 5 shillings.

    This puzzle was originally published by a John Betts, and formed part of the company’s extensive range of educational puzzles and maps. When Betts went out of business in 1875 his goodwill was taken over by Philip, Son & Nephew who continued to sell their stock under Betts name.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Jigsaw puzzle, booklet and illustrated guide


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