Jam sandwiches are thought to have originated at around the 19th century in the United Kingdom. In Scotland, they are also known as pieces and jam, or jeely pieces. The jam sandwich was an affordable food which was a major part of the diets of the lower/working-class people of cities such as London and Glasgow. One plausible reason for this was that the ingredients that the jam sandwiches were made from cost little to manufacture and due to taxes being lifted on sugar in 1880, it became widely available as a cheap foodstuff. Today, jam sandwiches are mainly consumed by children. Shops do not often sell individual jam sandwiches.
The popular Scottish folk song The Jeely Piece Song which appeared in the 1960s humorously describes the effect of new social housing policies on the eating habits of Scottish youngsters. The lyrics were written by Adam McNaughton. It was performed by Matt McGinn and many others.