Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Paper Cup
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Paper Cup. 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.

The Paper Cup does not appear to be part of the Froebelian repertoire and I cannot find it in any of the early books about Froebelian education.

As far as I am currently aware the first appearance of the Paper Cup in the historical record is in the book 'Jouxjoux en Papier' by Tom Tit (real name Arthur Good), published in Paris by Paul Lechevalier in 1924, under the title 'Le Gobelet de Voyage'.

Diagrams also appear, as 'The Drinking Cup' in Fun with Paper Folding, by Murray and Rigney, published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928. In this version only one top flap is folded down, so that the outline of the finished design is pentagonal. The author suggests that the reader might 'Make large enough and turn in the (other) point ... and you will have a paper hat.'

A 'Drinking Cup' design, presumably the same one, is listed in the contents of 'Winter Nights Entertainment' by R M Abrahams, published by Constable and Constable in 1932.

Diagrams also appear as the 'Drinking-Cup' in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', first published in London in 1936. In this case, as in Tom Tit's original version, both top flaps are folded down to create a quadrilateral cup.