Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

x

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

This paper Windmill is made by folding alone without using cuts. Information about other kinds of paper windmills can be found here.

**********

In Japan

In his article 'History of Origami in the East and the West before Interfusion', published in 'Origami 5: Fifth International Meeting of Origami, Science, Mathematics and Education', Koshiro Hatori asserts that, ''Many of the European origami models contained in Krause-Boelte's book (ie 'The Kindergarten Guide', published in 1881) are not included in contemporary Japanese records. The pig, house, sofa (also known as piano or organ), balloon (waterbomb), arrow (paper plane), salt cellar (cootie catcher), bird (pajarita or cocotte) and windmill ... were all born in Europe and imported into Japan along with the kindergarten system.' An accompanying illustration shows that this statement refers to the uncut design.

**********

A drawing of the Windmill appeared in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885).

**********

In Western Europe / USA

The list of paper folding designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel, which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859, includes a 'moulin à vent'. From its position in the list it can be inferred that this is the Windmill.

**********

'De Kleine Papierwerkers', written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863, contains a drawing of 'de molen'.

**********

The Windmill is also pictured in the revised version of 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer which was published by Carl Babel in Berlin in 1874.

**********

The design also appears in 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876.

**********

The Windmill is the only Fold of Life that occurs in 'Manual Teorico-Practico de Educacion Parvulos' by D Pedro de Alcantara Garcia, which was published in Madrid in 1879.

**********

There is mention of a design called 'The Windmill' in 'The Kindergarten Principle' by Mary J Lyschinska, which was published in London in 1880 by Wm Isbister Ltd, but no illustration is given.

**********

This design also appears in part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published in 1882 by E. Steiger and Company in New York.

**********

The Windmill also appears in 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891. This book is an English version of 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' enhanced by the addition of a few extra designs.

**********

The Windmill is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding' was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.

**********

'Froebel's Occupations', written by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith and published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, of Boston and New York in 1896 includes the observation 'In the firelit winter evenings, before the days of the useful (and ugly) match, our grandmothers folded dainty lamplighters ... and when the pretty work was over, marvellous paper boats and boxes and windmills were fashioned for the expectant audience. Many times in the quiet home-life of the German peasant Froebel ... saw parents and children united in this simple art ...' Unfortunately we cannot know which design of paper windmill is being referred to here.

**********

The Windmill also appears:

In 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel' by M P Martin, which was published by Armand Collin & Cie in Paris in 1893.

**********

In Lois Bates' 'Kindergarten Guide', which was first published by Longmans, Green and Co in London in 1897.

**********

In 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.

**********

In 'La Ensenanza del Trabajo Manuel' by Pedro de Alcántara García and Teodosio Leal y Quiroga, which was published in Madrid in 1903.

**********

In 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Español in Madrid in 1904.

**********

'Fun with Paperfolding' by William D Murray and Francis J Rigney, which was published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928, contains a version of the Windmill folded from a blintzed windmill base.

**********

'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 '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.

**********

As the 'Pinwheel' in 'The Art of Chinese Paper folding for Young and Old' by Maying Soong, which was published by Harcourt Brace and Company of New York in 1948.

**********