Recently we were assembling a fairly interesting Pastime Puzzle that is probably from the 1930s or 1940s. It was a pretty typical Pastime, with the icon white box and about 500 pieces inside. It was a bit unusual in that included the original description that appeared to come from the outside wrapping, which was a neat treat to find and gave a hint to what the image contained. At any rate, we take great joy when first going through the pieces and seeing the colors (is this going to be a hard one?), the condition, but most importantly the shape of the pieces. Specifically, what are the silhouette or whimsical pieces going to look like? Will there be any really unusual ones etc. ? It’s like opening a present but you don’t know what you have even after the wrapping is off. So there is always that initial joy, and rarely do we get disappointed no matter the manufacturer.
Recently a friend was visiting and saw the Pastime Puzzle we were assembling on our puzzling table. While not an avid puzzler, she has done her share of puzzles and does do cardboard ones from time to time. When she saw the Pastime, though, she was floored by it. Literally she could not begin to imagine that puzzles could both be of such quality (wait until she sees a Par!), but even was more taken aback with the silhouette pieces. She spent quite a while looking at all of the intricate cuts. Asked a lot of questions about these types of puzzles, their history etc., I could tell she was hooked!
Having done many puzzles over the years of many different varieties, it sometimes it is easy to get a little tunnel vision, and even be spoiled when you are given the opportunity to assemble puzzles that are essentially historical pieces of art that are interactive in nature. Wondering who created it, what their story is, how many people have previously stumbled their way through it, are all questions that go through one’s head. However, sometimes it takes a fresh perspective, from a “newbie” to really recall what it was like when you first starting assembling vintage puzzles. It is probably akin to a kid walking into an amusement park for the very first time.