The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 29/4/2024


Folded Paper Penguins
This page is being used to collect information about the history of folded paper Penguins. 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.


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


The earliest treatment of this subject that I know of appears in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was first published in Japan in 1931.



This design for a penguin appears in 'Origami: Book Three' by Florence Sakade, which was published by the Charles E Tuttle Company in Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo in 1959.



This design for a penguin appears in 'Origami in the Classroom: Book 2: Activities for winter through summer' by Chiyo Araki was published by Charles E Tuttle Co Inc in 1968.


In Europe and the Americas


Booklet 3 of 'Trabajos Manuales Salvatella - Plegado de figuras de papel', which was published by Editorial Miguel A Salvatera in Barcelona around 1929, contains a design for a 'El Pinguino' in which a cut is used to separate the legs.


The same design appears in 'Una Hoja de Papel' by Lorenzo Herrero, which was published by Miguel A Salvatella in Barcelona in 1952 contains this design for a 'Pinguino' from a bird base.



Another design for a paper penguin appears in Booklet 3 of 'Images a Plier', a series of 6 booklets published by Librairie Larousse in Paris in 1932.


1937 onwards

There is a Penguin made from a bird base in 'Paper Toy Making' by Margaret Campbell, which was first published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date.

This design also appeared in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The text notes, 'Margaret Campbell's method'.



Another design for a paper Penguin, 'El pinguino', occurs in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.


The Fish-Base Penguin - 1954 onwards

The 1954 Rupert Annual includes instructions explaining 'How To Make A Paper Sealion and Penguin'. The Penguin is a very simple design developed from a fish base.


The same design appears in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The text says, 'From the Daily Express Rupert Annual'.



'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956 contained diagrams for Harbin's King Penguin.



'Origami: The Oriental Art of Paper Folding' by Harry C Helfman, which was published by Platt and Munk Co Inc in New York in 1960, contains fiagrams for another Penguin design.



This cut 'Pinguin', folded from a bird base, appears in 'Wir Falten' by Joachim Schönherr and Gerta Schumann, which was published by Rudolf Arnold Verlag in Leipzig in 1961.