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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dexterity Puzzles

One of the simplest toys a child could have is a board puzzle. But more challenging than that are the dexterity puzzles that seem almost impossible to solve. One such clever little puzzle I had growing up was a 3 inch plastic square; within it were smaller, numbered squares and one empty space. The goal was to shift them around until they were in sequential order. I don't think I ever solved it! And of course there were the triangle puzzles, the ball in joint puzzles and the ever famous rubik cube.

My next postings will be some of my own dexterity puzzles in the style of Robert Journet. Check back next week for the first of four dexterity puzzles in the theme of, The Circus!


Robert Journet, maker of dexterity puzzles

Robert Journet started his toy shop in 1878 in Paddington, England. His father hand-made the first puzzles circa 1891. Sales greatly increased after they attended a British Industries fair and the puzzles were introduced to American companies. His son, Frederick took over the business in the 1930's and expanded it; picking up many advertising orders. Often copied but never surpassed, Journet puzzles went on to become the world's most popular dexterity puzzles, selling millions of "Popular Perplexing Puzzles" and entertaining generations. It remained a family business until it was sold, in 1965, to Abbey Corinthian Games who produced the puzzles from 1966 until the 1970's.

Rob's Puzzle Page website has dozens of vintage dexterity puzzles examples and BitsandPieces.com has new and some reproduced challenging games.

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