The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 21/11/2023


How to Divide a Square into Smaller Squares with a Single Cut

This page is being used to collect information about the history of the puzzle / magical effect of how to divide a square into several smaller squares, linked or unlinked, with a single cut. Please contact me if you know that any of the information on this page is incorrect or if you know of important omissions. Thank you.



'Lustiges und merkwürdiges von Zahlen und Forme' (Funny and strange things about numbers and shapes) by Walther Lietzmann, was published by Ferdinand Hirt in Breslau contains a chapter about Scherengeometrie (scissor geometry). This chapter contains mention of the use of paperfolding in psychological tests, one of which is: 'A square is to be cut into four squares by making a single cut.' The solution is 'You fold along the diagonal of the square, then along the axis of symmetry of the right angle isosceles triangle. Then cut along the axis of symmetry of the new triangle.'