To link to this resource use: https://libraries.indiana.edu/resources/slocum
A collection of mechanical puzzles.
The Indiana University Lilly Library and the Digital Collections Services present the online Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection, which embodies a lifetime pursuit for the intriguing, the perplexing, and the compelling. Unlike word or jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles are hand-held objects that must be manipulated to achieve a specific goal. The Rubik's cube and tangrams are popular examples. Confounding and delightful, precise and whimsical, the puzzles in the Slocum collection represent centuries of mathematical, social, and recreational history from across five continents.
When complete, the Slocum collection database will allow researchers and puzzle enthusiasts to search and browse the largest assemblage of its kind in the world, with over 30,000 puzzles. The puzzle classification system used in this database was developed by Jerry Slocum on the basis of a scheme set out by Professor Angelo Louis Hoffmann in the now-classic 1893 book, Puzzles Old and New, and has been adopted by puzzle collectors and enthusiasts in several countries.
Puzzles types include:
1. Put-Together Puzzles - Object: Putting puzzle together (e.g., Tangrams)
2. Take-Apart Puzzles - Object: Taking puzzle apart (e.g. Puzzle Boxes)
3. Interlocking Solid Puzzles - Object: Puzzle disassembly and assembly (e.g., Cube)
4. Disentanglement Puzzles - Object: Puzzle disentanglement and entanglement (e.g., Chinese Rings)
5. Sequential Movement Puzzles - Object: Moving puzzle parts to attain goal (e.g. Rubik's Cube)
6. Dexterity puzzles - Object: Manual dexterity to solve puzzle (e.g., Cup and Ball)
7. Puzzle Vessels - Object: Filling vessel or drinking without spilling (e.g. Puzzle Jugs)
8. Vanish Puzzles - Object: Explain vanished or changed image (e.g. Loyd's Get Off the Earth)
9. Folding Puzzles - Object: Fold object to specified pattern (e.g., Fifth Pig Puzzle)
10. Impossible Puzzles - Object: Explain how object was made or why it behaves in seemingly impossible ways (e.g., Arrow thru Bottle)
Coverage: 500 of the 30,000 puzzles have been cataloged and digitized
Vendor: Indiana University Lilly Library
Producer: Indiana University Digital Library Program
Interlibrary Loan Type: Not Permitted
Simultaneous User Limit: Unlimited simultaneous users