Jig of the Week
A New Puzzle
The first in this series of 25 cent cardboard puzzles was issued in October 1932.
They each had over 300 pieces and a stated 3 hour normal time requirement. They also came
with a 7 x 5 inch insert with a black&white picture of the puzzle and the next week's title.
manufactured by the University Distributing Company and at the peak of their
popularity, millions of puzzles per week were being produced. It seems as if this must have
been state-of-the-art technology, to produce and distribute that many puzzles on a weekly basis!
There are a lot of these puzzles still in existance, with
the first 10 or so being hardest to find, but complete ones with the insert still present are just
as tough to come by. If they were really published at a rate of
one per week and there are only 31 of them, then the jigsaw puzzle fad/craze of the
early 1930s must not have lasted too many months past 1932.
Issued Every Week
On Sale Wednesday
These are the only 20th century cardboard puzzles that I have actively
tried to collect. Some observations from
my incomplete set.
- The box from #10 also lists the price as "In Canada 40 cents". This does not appear on any
other box that I have.
- The boxes up to #13 show "Distributed Exclusively by S.-M.News Co.,Inc", after #13 the word
- The boxes after #10 are a variety of colors with black ink for the print.
Number 12 and number 16 are exceptions.
- Starting with the box for #19, there is a notation "Registered U.S. Patent Office". I haven't
researched this, I assume that it refers to a trademark of the name.
- Number 22 came with a small, second insert for a special offer -- they would make your photo
into a puzzle.
- In number 23, the insert included this special offer along with an annoucement of a new
line: Jig de Luxe, a two-sided puzzle. There were only three of these:
- A The Horse Fair / The Melton Breakfast
- B The Concert / The Hunt
- C The Goose Girl / Woman Peeling Apples
- I know that some puzzles have irregular edges or are different sizes. I don't know if
it is possible to build a complete puzzle by using the pieces of more than one puzzle. I have some
duplicates so I'll will try this when I have some time. I also have a puzzle from eBay, "I'm sure it's
complete because the box looks full... " It was missing 53 pieces and
had about thirty pieces from another puzzle. When I identify it, maybe I'll be lucky and be
able to complete some other puzzle. I'm guessing, with millions of puzzles per week, that
they had to use multiple die (to stamp out the puzzle) and the chances of getting two puzzles from
the same lot would be small.
|1||untitled (American Sailing Ship)|
|2||Deauville Races 1932|
|4||The Prairie Fire|
|5||King Arthur's Country|
|6||Little Birds of the Shore|
|10||The Jolly Flat Boatmen|
|11||Green Sleeves Leads the Way|
|16||Between two Fires|
|17||Milady of the Tavern|
|20||Washington at Mt. Vernon|
|21||Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg|
|22||Boyhood of Sir Walter Raleigh|
|25||So Near Yet So Far|
|27||A Quiet Battle|
|28||Sunday Morning in Norway|
|29||The Fortune Teller|
|31||Dance of the Minuet|
*List Courtesy of Verl Cook
**Puzzle number 12 came in a "standard" box
and in the special holiday box.