The Public Paperfolding History Project

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L'Enseignement Manuel by Rene Leblanc, 1895
'L'enseignement manuel dans les ecoles du degre primaire (garcons)' by Rene Leblanc was published by Librairie Larousse in Paris in 1895.

An extract was also published in the same year under the title 'Exercises manuel dans les ecoles du degre primaire' which contained the same material on paperfolding.

A full copy of the full work can be accessed at L'Enseignement manuel dans les écoles du degré primaire (garçons), par René Leblanc,... | Gallica (

A copy of the extract can be accessed at Exercices manuels dans les écoles du degré primaire, commentaire illustré des programmes officiels... : extrait de l'"Enseignement manuel" / par René Leblanc,... | Gallica (

The full work contains a useful first chapter entitled 'Apercu historique' which sets out the development of the practice of manual exercises in French education from 1882 to 1889.


Pliage preliminaires / Preliminary paperfolds


Folding an octagon from a square / Le Filtre (The Filter)


La moitie ou le double d'un carre / Halving or quartering the square

La table caree / The Table /

Moulin ou cocotte / The Windmill / The Cocotte (mentioned but not illustrated)

Pliage en rosace / The Windmill Base


Rosaces derivees du carre / Folds of Beauty


Chapeau de gendarme / The Newspaper Hat

Bateau / The Paper Boat

Boite de patissier / The Patisserie Box

Cube (variant of the boite de patissier folded from a 5x3 sheet of paper)


This page explains how to fold an angle of 60 degrees (by eye alone). If the triangle MNO is then cut out it can be unfolded to form, successively, a losange (diamond), a trapeze isocele (isosceles trapezium) and a hexagone (hexagon).


Rosaces derivees de l'hexagone / Rosettes derived from the hexagon

This page gives two ways to fold the pattern of a six-pointed star within a hexagon (which can then be cut out) and for folding a Rosace hexagonal (Hexagonal rosette).


Strip Folding


Examples of folded and cut designs made by children from the Ecole Salicis.

Pictures 1 and 2 of Planche I have been folded from hexagons.

The text on page 74 states that Figure 2 of Planche III has been folded from a pentagon.

Pictures 5 and 6 of Planche II appear to have possibly been made from folded modules, although this is not referenced in the text.


These illustrations show examples of facing pages from a workbook. The larger sheet of paper in the top left image appears to have been folded, though the text does not reference this.