Puzzle boxes go by many different names such as trick boxes, secret boxes, stash boxes, and magic boxes.
No matter the name; however, they all share the same goal: solve the puzzle to open the box.
Unbelievably, modern puzzle boxes can actually trace their roots back to jewelry boxes and furniture that featured secret openings and hidden compartments.
The first puzzle boxes produced with entertainment in mind originated in 19th century England, Switzerland, and Japan.
The popularity of trick boxes over the years has a great deal to do with travelers wanting to pick up souvenirs.
This is especially true for Japanese puzzles boxes and the Hakone-Odawara region of Japan. Hakone is located on a main road between Tokyo and Edo which brought frequent travelers and helped spread the word about these works of art.
After World War II public interest in puzzle boxes waned.
Puzzle boxes eventually regained their popularity and are enjoyed by millions around the world today.
The three individuals most responsible for resurrecting the art of puzzle boxes are:
- Trevor Wood from England
- Akio Kamei from Japan
- Frank Chambers from Ireland
The movie Hellraiser should receive some credit as well. The famous Lemarchand’s box has become iconic and widely recognized around the world. They have also become popular to hide gift cards and/or money in for Christmas gifts, graduation, birthdays, and the holidays.
Since then many companies have started designing and creating puzzle boxes of their own. We here at Creative Escape Rooms have a full line of wood puzzle boxes we design and make here in our Hudson FL shop.
What are some of your favorite puzzle boxes?