Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Paperfolding in St Nicholas magazine
 
This page gives details of articles and letters relating to paperfolding which were published in the American children's magazine St Nicholas between Volume 1 of 1873/4 and volume 50 of 1922/3. Full copies of these magazines can be found at https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000640805. My thanks to Oschene for highlighting this magazine as a source.

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The Newspaper Ladder appeared in a reader's letter in the Letterbox column of the January 1881 issue.

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The same issue contained diagrams for the Fold and One Cut Latin and Maltese Crosses and showed how to arrange all the pieces released by the cuttting of the Latin Cross to form an Altar.

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The April 1886 issue contained an article titled 'About Flying Machines' which included details of a 'Paper Aeroplane'

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The Sanbo on Legs, and a longer variant, was published in the August 1887 issue under the somewhat surprising name of 'Nantucket Sinks'. The second paragraph mentions other paperfolds known to the author at this date.

The issue of St Nicholas for January 1888 contained a reader's letter, in the Letterbox column, describing how the long version of the design could be achieved and varied.

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The April 1887 issue contained a reader's letter, in the Letterbox column, which described a game called 'Reviews' which uses paperfolding in a similar way to the game of Consequences.

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The September 1887 issue contained diagrams for the Chinese Junk under the title of 'The First Paper Canoe'. The writer, identified only as H. E., states that he learned the design in England as a child.

In the December issue of the same year this reader's letter appeared in the Letterbox column:

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A reader's letter in the Letterbox column of the March 1888 issue contained diagrams for the waterbomb, under the title 'How to Make a Paper Ball'.

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The July 1892 issue contained an article titled 'The Five-Pointed Star' by Charles F Jenkins which gave a version of the Betsy Ross story.

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A much longer article on a similar theme, entitled 'The Stars and Stripes', and written by Henry Russell Wray appeared in the issue of September 1893. This article did not include diagrams but included the passage:

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In the January 1894 issue of the American children's magazine St Nicholas is an article about 'How Money is Made'. It explains how each printed bill is individually examined and that:

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The September 1896 issue contained an article on Gobolinks including pictures and poems extracted from the book of that same name.

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The game of Paper, Scissors, Stone is described in the July 1901 issue of the American children's magazine St Nicholas in an article entitled 'Glimpses of Child Life in Japan'.

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The March 1902 issue included an article titled 'Spin, Whiz, Whirl!' about the making of spinning tops which included instructions for making a circle of Pinwheels. No instructions for making the Pinwheels themselves was given.

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The September 1908 issue contained an article about Lewis Carroll titled 'How "Alice in Wonderland" Came to be Written', which included the following passage:

Unfortunately no reference for the source of this information is given.

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Volume 41 part 1 of November 1913 to April 1914 contained a reader's letter, published in the Letterbox column, which described how to fold the Lily and a six-petalled variation. It is noteworthy that the letter-writer mentions learning this design from 'a Japanese student'.

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The June 1921 issue contained a third article about Betsy Ross, titled 'The Making of the Flag' and written by H B Alexander and which contained a patriotic masque or play, part of which read:

This article contained the same diagrams as had previously appeared in the July 1892 edition:

And the following comment on the treatment of history in patriotic masques which is surely pertinent to the legend of Betsy Ross as a whole: