A Group of Six Polycube Puzzles, Known as Impuzzables

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Each of these six colorful plastic puzzles is made up of groups of small cubes that can be arranged into a larger cube. The puzzles fit into clear plastic boxes. The objects have been assigned the following subindex numbers:
2012.0091.01.01 - brown
2012.0091.01.02 - green
2012.0091.01.03 - blue
2012.0091.01.04 - yellow
2012.0091.01.05 - red
2012.0091.01.06 - orange.
All six puzzles have the mark: MADE IN HONGKONG
The puzzles belonged to Rebecca Coven, the mother of the donor, who was a mathematics teacher in Brooklyn, New York. The donor dated the objects to about 1975. A mark on one of them gives the copyright date 1969.
According to Martin Gardner, Lakeside Industries, a division of Leisure Dynamics of Minneapolis, sold this series of six polycube puzzles from 1969. The puzzles ranged in difficulty from the easiest (yellow) to the hardest (blue). California game inventor Gerard D’Arcey designed the puzzles. Recent websites list a similar set of puzzles, although the colors are different.
Single examples of this puzzle (with six different versions available) were advertised as on sale in 1970 for forty-nine cents each. A 1982 advertisement lists individual puzzles at $1.99, reduced from a regular price of $2.99.
[Advertisement], The Hartford Courant, November 12, 1970, p. 27.
[Advertisement}, The Chicago Tribune, February 24, 1982, p. C8.
Kevin Holmes and Rik Van Grol, A Compendium of Cube-Assembly Puzzles Using Polycube Shapes, Suffolk, England: Trench Puzzles, 2002.
Martin Gardner, Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments, New York: W. H. Freeman, 1986, p. 41.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1975
place made
Zhonghua: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
single puzzle: 6.2 cm x 6.2 cm x 6.2 cm; 2 7/16 in x 2 7/16 in x 2 7/16 in
overall: 19 cm x 6.2 cm x 6.2 cm; 7 15/32 in x 2 7/16 in x 2 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Judy Green
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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