Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


Les Recreations Scientifiques by Gaston Tissandier
Les Recreations Scientifiques by Gaston Tissandier was published in Paris by in 1880. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaston_Tissandier) it was 'perhaps the very first title in the genre of books of simple science experiments that anybody can conduct in their own home. Its chapters were in part based on the column "physique sans appareils" (physics without apparatus) in 'La Nature'.' I do not know the dates of these earlier articles or whether any of them involved paperfolding.

Three illustrations which are of interest to the paperfolding historian are reproduced below. A full copy of the work can be viewed at https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k110526x/f5.image

The third edition, published in 1882 also included a version of the Playing Card Cube with a small hole in the centre of the top card that could be used as an apparatus for creating smoke rings. This had previoiusly appeared in the French magazine La Nature No 427 of 6th August 1881 (information from Michel Grand) which was founded and eduted by Gaston Tissandier.

An enlarged English version of the book was published under the title 'Popular Scientific Recreations' by Ward, Lock and Co in London and New York, possibly also in the early 1880s. This enlarged version also contains several illustrations which show workmen wearing what appear to be paper hats in a foundry and during the process of drawing coarse and fine wires. The clearest of these is included below.