The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle
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LIFE: The Great Challenge   -   by Royce B. McClure
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  • FIRST TO COMPLETE IN STAFFORDSHIRE, UK.
  • SECOND TO COMPLETE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
July 29, 2008
Eric Smith   -   Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.
Assembled between January 2008 and mid July 2008.

FIRST TO COMPLETE IN STAFFORDSHIRE, UK. It took me (solo) about 179 days, that's approximately 537 hours .. and I enjoyed every minute!

Eric has had about a dozen newspaper articles written about his completing this super large puzzle. Here is a compilation of what they had to say:

Puzzle-loving Eric Smith, 73, a retired sales manager, is celebrating after completing the world's biggest jigsaw (24,000 pieces) - luckily with no pieces missing!

He says: "This is the nicest jigsaw I have ever done and I am really chuffed at how quick I have done it".

Eric started doing puzzles as a hobby about 30 years ago and has only ever lost three pieces of a jigsaw.

"I can do little ones so quickly that I'd be getting through one a week. I have done a number of jigsaws from 10,000 pieces upwards in the past but this is the biggest in the world and made by Spanish company Educa".

The biggest puzzle he had previously completed was 18,000 pieces but Eric says this was the most enjoyable.

"As soon as I see a new big one out, I have got to get it".

Doing large puzzles led to him building a special table, big enough to build parts of jigsaws on, and furniture is often moved out of rooms to make way for them.

This completed puzzle is currently in his garage, "It is so big I don't know what I am going to do with it but it would look nice laminated and put on a wall."

Eric is now thinking of donating the jigsaw to a new hospital that is being built in North Staffordshire but is still open to suggestions from charities who might want it. (Note from webmaster: this was at the end of July, his situation may be different now!)

"I found all sorts of different animals as I went along and it is very colourful."

"It has about 10 or 12 different puzzles inside one giant puzzle, I was really pleased to complete it."

"You certainly couldn't take a photograph that big, so it's a very special picture and I keep finding new animals and things in it."

"I have enjoyed spending two or three hours a night on this one."

"I just seem to have a knack of doing jigsaw's really well, I can't walk past one without finding a couple of pieces and putting them in."

His wife Marion, aged 76, admits she hasn't got the knack for jigsaws but enjoys seeing them completed. She said: "I would rather do a crossword or embroidery but if it keeps him happy I don't mind him doing it."

"I love to see them when they are finished, they're always so colourful. Everyone thinks it is marvellous how he does it, because it takes a lot of patience. However, it does keep him up late at night if he is engrossed in it. It can be 2am when he comes to bed sometimes."

Eric is looking forward to his next challenge and can't wait for a bigger one to come out.

Thank you to the UK newspaper The Sentinel for allowing us to use the above photo.

UPDATE - 23rd of December, 2008
Burns Unit of the Birmingham  Eric has kindly donated the puzzle to the Burns Unit of the Birmingham Childrens hospital (about 45 miles away from his home).

Wondering what the plaque says?...

“LIFE”

THE WORLD'S LARGEST JIGSAW

DESIGNED BY ROYCE ART OF NEW ZEALAND MANUFACTURED BY EDUCA OF SPAIN 24000 PIECES 428 X 157 cm

COMPLETED BY ERIC SMITH.(SOLO) OF STOKE -ON -TRENT JAN-JULY 2008 APPROXIMATELY 187 DAYS 539 HOURS

DONATED TO THE BURNS UNIT OF THE BIRMINGHAM CHILDRENS HOSPITAL

WITH THANKS TO IMPRESS SHOPFITTING LTD FOR THE ASSEMBLY, TRANPORTATION & FIXING OF THE PUZZLE



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