Williams - reprinted with permission For more information about Anne's Books and other literature.. The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the s when European map makers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. The "dissected map" has been a successful educational toy ever since. American children still learn geography by playing with puzzle maps of the United States or the world. The eighteenth century inventors of jigsaw puzzles would be amazed to see the transformations of the last years.