The Combination Block Puzzle
by Kinsey and Co.


The A-B-C Spelling Puzzle
combined with
The American Mechanical Puzzle.


Patented in 1878 in the USA.



Measuring 20cm (8 inches) square, both the lettered side and the picture side can be used as what has now become the "standard" sliding block puzzle.

It is a remarkable puzzle because, whilst being one of the earliest "Fifteen" type of puzzles, at 6 by 6 it is larger than most, it is double sided, and it was the first puzzle of this type to use the "tongue and groove" construction that has since become the standard construction for most modern versions.


A further puzzle, not incorporated into modern designs, is the challenge to remove the blocks from the frame. This is solved by discovering which block is missing its two "tongues". This can then be maneuvered next to the empty square and be removed.

The puzzle pieces could then be arranged so that the puzzle was impossible, as in Sam Loyd's challenge.


This is one of many puzzles from the Hordern-Dalgety Collection that The Puzzle Museum provided to illustrate "The 15 Puzzle" by Jerry Slocum. This extensively researched book gives a fascinating insight into the great puzzle craze of the 1880s, and into how Sam Loyd fooled the world for 115 years. Informative and beautifully illustrated, it may be obtained from the author at

The other definitive work on the subject is "Sliding Piece Puzzles" by Edward Hordern. Published by the Oxford University Press in 1986 ISBN 0-19-853204-0. Unfortunately this is long out of print. The Rights have reverted to The Puzzle Museum and we are looking for a sponsor to underwrite the production of a new edition.


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