The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 28/4/2024


The Magazine Cover Box
This page is being used to collectinformation about the history of the paperfolding design known as the Magazine Cover Box. 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.



As far as I know this design first appears in in 'Handbüchlein der Papierfaltekunst. Für Jung und Alt' by Josef Sperl, which was published by Hartleben in Wien and Leipzig in 1904 (although some sources give 1900 as the date of the first edition). Information from Jens-Helge Dahmen and Michel Grand.


Further on in the book the box is used as a way of making the body of a truck and a locomotive.



There is a photograph in an article in Issue 238 of the Buenos Aires edition of the magazine Caras y Caretas', published on 25th March 1905, which shows an open box of otherwise unknown design. It is just possible that this is the Magazine Cover Box, although the reproduction is too grainy to allow for certainty. The box in question is the one on the right.



The design also appears on p623 of the 17th July 1926 issue of 'Journal des Instituteurs'. Information from Michel Grand.



The design appears as 'Langlicher Offener Kasten' (Elongated Open Box) in 'Allerlei Papierarbeiten' by Hilde Wulff and Carola Babick, which was published in Leipzig and Berlin in 1936.



The Magazine Cover Box design also appeared in the 5th edition of 'Das Lustiges Papierfaltbüchlein' by Johanna Huber, which was published in 1940. This was an abbreviated, wartime, version of the original book, reduced from 56 to 39 pages, although in a larger format. Despite this reduction in size the author / editor found room to add the Magazine Cover Box as a new design. Information from Jens-Helge Dahmen.



A version of this design was included as the 'Weaver's Shuttle Box' in Marie Gilbert Martin's 1951 book 'Pasteless Construction with Paper'. I have not seen a copy of this book but evidence that this box is some variant of the 'Magazine Cover Box' design comes from 'Modern Origami' by James Minoru Sakoda (see entry for 1969 below).



'Maria Martin's famous shuttle fold' is mentioned in Volume 1, Issue 3 of 'The Origamian', which was published in December 1958 and 'the bench and side chair from Marie Martin's book and her famous shuttle-fold' in Volume 1, Issue 4, which was published in January 1959.



The design also appears as 'Faltschachtel' in 'Wir Falten' by Joachim Schönherr and Gerta Schumann, which was published by Rudolf Arnold Verlag in Leipzig in 1961.



The design also appears as 'Strong Box' in the second edition of 'Het Grote Vouwboek' by Aart van Breda, which was published by Uitgeverij van Breda in 1963.



'Modern Origami' by James Minoru Sakoda, which was published by Simon and Schuster in New York in 1969, contains the design under the heading 'How to fold a box'. The author states that he has adapted the design from Marie Gilbert Martin's 'Weaver's Shuttle Box' (from her 1951 book 'Pasteless Construction with Paper').



The same design was published, under the name of the Magazine Cover Box, in 1978 in Vol 13 issue 4 of the Origamian. The diagrams include the information that ‘Emily Rosenthal learned this in her German childhood - from whom she does not remember’.



In 2005, while I was preparing my book ‘Complete Origami’ for publication, I played with these boxes to see whether, and if so how, the design could be enhanced or varied. I found that it was possible to add simple strengtheners to the boxes to make them more practical to use and also that it was possible to combine four of the shorter, broader version of the design to create a modular cuboid, that might be used, perhaps, as a simple gift container.

Diagrams for the original box and these developments can be found at