Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


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.


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.


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.