Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Paper Alphabets and Paper Numbers
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of Paper Alphabets and Paper Numbers. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

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The first Paper Alphabet that I am aware of appears in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers', which was written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863. This illustration is taken from the 1864 Second Edition. The letter Q is not included.

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Another alphabet made from paper strips appears in 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel' by M P Martin, which was published by Armand Collin & Cie in Paris in 1893. The letters are K, W and Y are not included.

The same book also includes the numbers 1-9. The O in the alphabet can clearly function as a zero.

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Three letters folded from paper strips appear in 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Espaņol in Madrid in 1904.

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A similar alphabet folded from strips, but which this time also contained punctuation marks and mathematical symbols appeared in 'El Plegado y Cartonaje en la Escuela Primaria' by Antonio M Luchia and Corina Luciani de Luchia, which was published by Editorial Kapelusz in Buenos Aires in 1940.

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The extended version of 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1951, contains instructions for developing 'El Alfabeto en Relieve' (The Pleated Alphabet).

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