Chronological tables

Chronological Tables of English History, dissected puzzle, England 1788 Museum no. E.764-1949

John Wallis, was an established publisher of games, who also produced puzzles. This puzzle is one of his earliest entitled 'Chronological Tables of English History for the Instruction of Youth', which was published in 1788. It comprises 40 pieces cut with wavy lines. The problem with early puzzles was that most of the pieces were just pushed into place. This meant that they would not stay together very well. To solve this, the outer edges of some puzzles, like this example, had long interlocking pieces that would hold the whole puzzle together.

There were many different versions of this type of historical puzzle showing the kings and queens of England. This puzzle has portraits and short biographies of monarchs from William I (ruled 1066-87) to George III (ruled 1760-1820) with historical notes about their reigns. It was a good educational game, helping children to learn their history and chronology since the puzzle will only fit together in one particular way.




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