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Puzzle Historian Jerry Slocum

Gena Asher interviews Jerry Slocum, an expert on mechanical puzzles who donated 30,000 puzzles and 4,000 puzzle-related books to IU's Lilly Library.

Jerry Slocum in wireframe glasses and blue and red plaid shirt, with a pencil and pen in the breast shirt pocket, displaying a gap-toothed smile

Photo: Mia Partlow/WFIU

Jerry Slocum

The pilot of a military fighter is very busy. He has navigation; he needs to find out if other airplanes of the enemy are around. He needs to look at the radar system—all while flying this airplane. And so to make his job easier was basically my task for thirty years.

Jerry Slocum is a historian, collector, and author specializing in mechanical puzzles. His book Puzzles Old and New was the first comprehensive book to include all types of mechanical puzzles.

Slocum founded the Slocum Puzzle Foundation, a non-profit organization that educates the public on puzzles. He has appeared on the The Tonight Show, in Martha Stewart Living, and The New York Times.

  • Sam

    Absolutly fascinating! Thanks.
    Sam Turner

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