Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

 

 
The Kettle / The Open Top Box
 

This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Kettle and its variant the Open Top Box, both of which are derivatives of the Waterbomb design. The Kettle has handles at either sideand,when partly filled with water it can be held over a candle, without the paper catching fire, until the water boils. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other important information that should be added. Thank you.

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So far as I know, diagrams for the Kettle first appear in issue 628 of The Boy's Own Paper, dated 24th January 1891, under the title 'How to Boil Water in a Paper Bag'.

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Diagrams also appear in Will Blyth's 'Paper Magic', published by C Arthur Pearson, in London in 1920. The text states that ' This is another little article for the purpose of boiling Water ...'.

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Diagrams also appear appear in 'Fun with Paper Folding' by Murray and Rigney, published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928, under the somewhat odd title of 'The Sugar Bowl'.

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A version of the dsign also appears in 'Winter Nights Entertainments' by R M Abraham, which was first published by Constable and Constable in London in 1932.

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The Kettle appears as 'Le Lampion' (The Lantern) in Booklet 4 of 'Images a Plier', a series of 6 booklets published by Librairie Larousse in Paris in 1932. The hole in the top of this version is created with a cut.

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Two versions of the design, both with a hole cut in the top, appear as 'Bombonera japonesa u Olla' (Japanese Candy Box or Cooking Pot) in Booklet 1 of 'Figuras de Papel', a series of 3 booklets published by B Bauza in Barcelona in 1932.

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The design also appears, as the Kettle, 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. In the preface to the first edition the author's son, Roy, writes, 'I shall not forget the miniature miracle of boiling water in a paper kettle over the flame of a lantern.'

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The Kettle also appears, as 'El puchero' in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.

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The Kettle and two variants, in all of which a cut is used to create a larger hole in the top, appear 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.

Farolito Japonais (Japanese Lantern)

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Tetera (Teapot)

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Azucarera (Sugar Bowl) -

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'At Home Tonight' by Herbert McKay, which was published by Oxford University Press in London, New York and Toronto in 1940, contains diagrams for the version in which a cut is used to create a larger hole in the top.

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The pure origami version featured in the 1947 Rupert Annual under the heading ' How To Make A Paper Kettle'.

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The Open Top Box

The Open Top Box is a variant of the Kettle which has a larger hole in the top. As far as I know this variant first appears under the title 'A Paper Vase' in 'Winter Nights Entertainments' by R M Abraham, which was first published by Constable and Constable in London in 1932.

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