A paperfolding paradise
The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell
page attempts to record what is known about the origin
and history of paper pistols. 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.
Lewis Carroll's diary mentions folding paper pistols on several occasions. The entry for October 8th 1890 includes the words '... and the little boy Francis Epipharius (Piffy), a very bright little creature, who taught me how to fold paper pistols ...' There are three other subsequent entries which record Lewis Carroll teaching these paper pistols to other children. Unfortunately we have no evidence to tell us what these paper pistols were. It is possible that they were paper bangers, or one of the designs on this page, or something else entirely.
A design for double-barrelled paper pistol made from a single strip of paper, and titled 'La pistola de dos canones' (The Double- Barrelled Pistol) appears in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939. This design is essentially a form of the Pentagonal Knot.