There were the good-natured jokes about it that Greg Fullerton likely has heard before, namely that his presentation was “puzzling” but by the end his audience “was able to put the pieces together.”
Fullerton, a Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County member and local attorney, is also a member of the Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors. In late March he brought a sizeable portion of his vast collection for display as he talked to the club about a topic that has held his interest for many years.
The puzzle has been around since ancient times, Fullerton said, but enjoyed a hey-day in the early 20th Century, especially wooden puzzles. “Another big era” was realized in the 1930s; since then, puzzles with cardboard pieces have become popular, with their accessibility across a broader economic spectrum.
While most people are probably familiar with jigsaw – or interlocking – puzzles, the format also exists in mechanical forms, gameboards, cubes, historic maps, and others. The French, Japanese, and Americans have been among more prominent puzzle designers and makers.
The most expensive puzzle Fullerton was aware of is a reproduction of a Hieronymus Bosch painting that sold at auction for approximately $27,000.
Among the most elegant examples in Fullerton’s collection are Par Puzzles, which he described as “sort of the Cadillac of puzzle makers.”
While it may have taken a while to put together, both individually and collectively, the items in Fullerton’s puzzling assembly, his presentation had one goal in its final picture for listeners: “To walk away knowing something you didn’t know before.”
Greg Fullerton outlines the breadth and history of puzzles for his listeners in the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County.