We recently added a unique boxed puzzle, with a view of the United States Capitol building on one side and a map of the world on the other, to our inventory. The title on the puzzle box is: “A New Dissected Map of the World with a picture puzzle of the Capitol at Washington.” It comes with a separate folded copy of the world map. The puzzle creates a striking view of the Capitol, with a blue and coral sky and lots of activity around the entrance to the Capitol. As is typical in 19th century puzzles, the outer ring of pieces all link into each other, while the inner pieces are flat-sided squares and rectangles. The puzzle was created in 1888.
The puzzle was published by McLoughlin Bros., Inc., a New-York based publishing firm, active from 1828-1920. The company was a pioneer in color printing technologies in children’s books and games. Early products were attractively hand-painted, in what was an early form of an assembly line–the line drawings were passed from artist to artist with each one responsible for coloring in one of the colors. The company later experimented with chromolithographic and multi-color rotolithographic printing techniques. McLoughlin Bros. also specialized in the retelling of classic stories, with omissions of lewder or uncouth sections, to make the story more child-friendly. By 1886, the firm was publishing a wide range of items, including chapbooks, larger picture-books, puzzles, games, and paper dolls. McLoughlin produced some of the most colorful and collectible board games in America, and was a prolific manufacturer of games until the company was bought out by Milton Bradley in 1920.
To see this item on our website, click here. You can also see it in person at our Georgetown DC gallery.