158. Anonymous – J. P. 1883


Perhaps following the success of the puzzle pictures in The Children's Friend (147) the Wesleyan Conference introduced a further series of rebus puzzles in 1880. These were called Biographical Puzzles and of the fourteen produced four have been found with maps: Lincoln, which was part of a puzzle on John Wesley, Yorkshire (John Wycliff), Leicestershire and Derbyshire. However, no copy of Devon is known.

Then in January of 1883 the Wesleyan Conference reissued a new series of county puzzles in their magazine called Early Days. This publication was first produced in 1824 as The Child's Magazine and Scholar's Companion and was re-titled in 1846. It became the Kiddie's Magazine in 1917 until it closed in 1958.

In the new series No. I was Bedford and the set continued monthly being completed with Yorkshire No. XL in 1886. Devon would have appeared in September, 1883. Early Days was issued by the Wesleyan Conference Office, 2 Castle Street, City Road and sold at 66 Paternoster Road, London.

The very small map shows only three towns, Barnstaple, Exeter and Plymouth with their respective rivers, the Taw, Exe and Tamar. The pictogram puzzle describes the county. The reverse has the answers to the previous county Derbyshire.

Like the previous puzzle series produced by Seeley, Jackson & Halliday with S W Partridge in 1868 (147) the pages, maps and illustrations were formed on one wood block but unlike the previous set some were signed, by the otherwise unknown, J.P., including in this series Devon.

Size: 25 x 33 mm.                                                                                                                                                                     Scale is irrelevant.

The map is (Bb) on a page 186 x 133 mm entitled PUZZLE-PICTURES. No.IX - DEVONSHIRE HIEROGLYPHICAL (Ca). With the page number 144 (Aa). There is no title to the map. Signature J.P. (Ae). The map and illustrations form part of the text, or puzzle; Devon in the S.W. [pen] [inn] SULA of ENGLAND........

1. 1883  Early Days  
    London. Early Days Office. 1883.                                                                                     B.