The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 23/11/2023


Article in Journal des Instituteurs of 7th January 1883

This article is the first mention of pliage (paperfolding) that I have been able to find relating to the use of paperfolding in the 'classe enfantine' after the publication of 'Arrêté du 27 juillet 1882 réglant l’organisation pédagogique et le plan d’études des écoles primaires publiques' on 27th July 1882. Children is such classes would have been 5 to 7 years of age.

Sections of the article say, roughly, 'Strands and squares of white or coloured paper are folded in two, in four, to form squares, triangles etc. These foldings taken a little further leading to objects made of paper: boats, bowls, hats, saltcellars, cocottes, envelopes etc. The number is quite limited. ...'

Another paragraph mention the Witch's Ladder:

'The folding of two strips of paper of different colours, serpents or accordions as children call them, which we have all made under the instruction of out grandmothers, allows numerous observations on numbers, on lines, on the triangle, the square etc. If this presents no difficulty in teaching there is however still an obstacle: coloured paper is relatively dear; the best quality costs 25 centimes for 100 bands: It is 25 centimes per day, for fifty children, and many of our 'ecoles maternelles' are unable to afford this for their infant classes ...'