Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center
The Jigsaw Puzzle and the Inventive Mind
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Roger Hayward, age 18.
Roger Hayward, age 18.
Hayward Papers, 5.001.2

It is possible that the reason more isn't written about the lowly jigsaw puzzle is that there doesn't seem to be much to say. On the face of it, it does seem ridiculous to fritter away time in reassembling a picture which has been 'chopped particularly small.' But the preoccupation of one part of the brain with the business of finding matches for the pieces seems to leave other parts of the brain with uncluttered leisure for fruitful cogitation and - at least for me - it inhibits sleep.

During just such cogitations it has occurred to me that perhaps the process of working a jigsaw puzzle could be regarded as an analogue for the brain function of having ideas - inventions if you will. An analogue may shed light on a problem although it may not specifically duplicate the process.