klik vlag voor Nederlandse versie

(taken from: "Stukje voor Stukje - de geschiedenis van de legpuzzel in Nederland" (Piece by Piece - the history of the jigsaw-puzzle in the Netherlands) by Betsy and Geert Bekkering ,
publ.: Van Soeren&Co/Amsterdam - 1988, with additional info by Frans, Marianne, Vincent and Victor Klaus.
Most pictures taken and supplied by Meta Klaus)

The beginning

In the years 1929-1930, due the economic recession, mr. P.Th. Klaus (our grandfather), manufacturer of luxury carton-boxes in Amsterdam, lost his company. The family was reduced to poverty. Only one of his sons, Theo, could still finish his education. In their residence at the Hooftlaan 3 in Bussum (near Amsterdam) my grandfather tried to retain a part of his income by becoming a representative for Halbertsma in Grouw (Friesland). Halbertsma manufactured luxury boxes for cigars and biscuits. Frans (our father) had a hobby of making wooden jigsaw-puzzles by hand for family and friends. It was decided to try and make some extra money by starting production of wooden Jig-Saw puzzles in the backroom at home. Their trademark was K-Puzzle, their logo a triangle with the words 'puzzle' and 'atelier' (workshop). It differed from the logo as portrayed on this website, which is a newer version. Frans subsequently has an idea of putting puzzles in a double cover of luxury carton-boxes as commercial gimmick. That is a success!
The first delivery on September 1st, 1932: 500 pieces to the soap-factory Sanders & Co in Leiden. The idea acquires legal protection and more orders follow soon.
The actual sawing of the puzzles was done together with uncle Jan (one of our fathers brothers). Soon after, more expansion started; also spreading through the house. New foot powered sawing machines arrived from England, as well as more prints. The latter were obtained from Harrison, an English printer with an extensive collection. The electrical sawing machine visible on the next page came in much later. The family had to move to the rooms upstairs.

Making use of current news

Subsequently, puzzles were produced for sale in toy-shops. In 1935 the family moves to the Nieuwe Enghlaan in Bussum. The sawing machine is standing in a side room, the cutting and forming of boxes and glueing paper on them happens in another room. For wrapping the boxes they used old wallpaper-rolls, at first they didn't have their own paper.
The company sees opportunities in current news items: the success of the KLM airplane "de Uiver", filmstars such as Claudette Colbert and Mirna Loy and a new train from the Dutch Railways. The success lasted only less than a year because in the same year (1936, December 20th), the "Uiver" crashed in the Syrian desert during its second trip to the Dutch Indies. Nobody was interested in the puzzles any more. And a lot of money was invested in them! The family was on the brink of bankruptcy, once again!

To the Beerensteinerlaan

They had to move to another house in Bussum, that was Beerensteinerlaan 8. It was rented (and bought on October 16th, 1962 from the owner). The move had to be done low-budget. No vans or similar, but transport-bikes and other cheap means of transport. The result was, that at one time part of the factory administration and correspondence was scattered all over the Iepenlaan and the Spiegelstraat.
From then on all sales went through the offices of Fa. Kamlag in Weesp. A loan was probably arranged under this condition, to help the company out of the danger zone. This was a great help; soon the company was back in business! In 1937 an extra building was constructed in the garden behind the house, where sawing and cardboard machines found a place.
As early as end of that year, more sawing machines were installed. Most of the production however was in the main house.
One of the first good customers is the "Rotterdamsche Lloyd". On board of their ships they needed a good number of puzzles and games. For them, Klaus Speelgoedindustrie (Toy Factory) made a Tangram game, "Mens-Erger-Je-Niet" (known in English as Ludo, Frustration or Parcheesi) and a Domino game. Photo's of their ships were sawn as jigsaw-puzzles and menu-cards were produced as "M"-puzzles. Other customers followed soon; even before the war, K-puzzle was main-supplier for the warehouse chains Bijenkorf and Perry (under their own brand).

(to continue: see FACTORY)

MATCH PUZZLE (wedstrijd puzzle)
2 Identically sawn puzzles in one box. One puzzle completely plain green, the other one plain red. Who is fastest in completing this puzzle?
But pay attention: only half of the pieces had the colour on top!

To continue: see FACTORY