Bob Armstrong was awarded AGPC’s prestigious Spilsbury Award at our 2013 annual convention in Savannah, Georgia, on 3 May. The Spilsbury Award is presented to renowned individuals who have provided ongoing, lifetime contributions to the development, preservation, and research of jigsaw puzzles. Anne Williams, herself a Spilsbury Award recipient in 2007, presented the Spilsbury Award to Bob Armstrong.
The Spilsbury Award is named after John Spilsbury, a London mapmaker of the 1760s. He is the first documented commercial manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles whose puzzles still survive. His “dissected maps” taught geography to the children of English aristocrats of the eighteenth century.
Previous award recipients have included: Steve Richardson of Stave Puzzles (2001), Katie and Bob Lewin of Springbok Editions (2004), puzzle historian Anne Williams (2007), and puzzle historian Tom Tyler (2010).
Anne’s introduction of Bob Armstrong, the 2013 Spilsbury Award winner, follows.
It is my great pleasure this evening to introduce Bob Armstrong. Our paths first crossed twenty-two years ago this month, when Fine Woodworking Magazine published my article on how to cut wooden jigsaw puzzles. A week later, I received a 2-page letter from Bob. He gushed about my article, told me of his puzzling background, and invited me to the imminent “christening” of his recently established puzzle cutting workshop.