The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 30/4/2024


The Hexagonal Packet
This page is being used to collect information about the history of the paperfolding design I call the Hexagonal Packet. 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 the early 1990's a large number of rodent-chewed Hexagonal Packets containing seeds were discovered in the attic of The Woodlands, a historic estate in Philadelphia, once owned by the botanist William Hamilton (1735–1840). Some of these bear dates. Others are labelled in the handwriting of William Hamilton himself or his neighbour William Bartram (1739-1823), who was also a plant collector. The example pictured below is dated 1803.



The first diagrams for this design that I know of occur in 'Spielbuch fur Knaben' by Hermann Wagner, which was published by Verlag von Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1864, although the foreword is dated May 1863, which argues that the book was complete at that date. It is called 'Ein Papiertute' (a paper bag).



The same design appears, using the same illustration, in 'Spielbuch fur Madchen' by Maria Leske (a pseudonym of Marina Krebs), which was published by Verlag von Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1865.


The design also appears:


In 'La Ensenanza del Trabajo Manuel' by Pedro de Alcántara García and Teodosio Leal y Quiroga, which was published in Madrid in 1903, where it is described as a packet for seeds.



As 'Bolsa de Jardinero' (Gardener's Bag) in 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Español in Madrid in 1904.



As 'Die Sammet oder Perlentüte' (velvet or pearl bag) in Part 2 'Das Flechten' of 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1910.