Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


Exercises de Travaux Manuels de L'ecole Louis Vauquelin de Rouen, 1886-1887
'Exercises de Travaux Manuels d'apres le journal 'L'Instruction Primaire' is a book of folded examples of classwork produced by L'ecole Louis Vauquelin de Rouen in 1886-1887. It includes actual examples of paperfolds made by pupils at the school.

The whole book can be viewed at http://rhe.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/?q=tmvauquelin. This page links back to http://rhe.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/?q=tmvauquelin, paragraph 39 of which provides some context. Roughly translated: ' ... the principle of a connection between manual teaching, mathematical teaching and graphic teaching was not created out of hand. It is part of a broader movement based on ideas, sometimes old, that circulate in educational journals or in certain textbooks and feed effective class practices. In the departmental archives of Seine-Maritime, a collection of manual work exercises carried out at the Louis Vauquelin school in Rouen during the 1886-1887 school year provides a concrete testimony to the existence of such practices before 1890. It brings together a series of cut-outs and folds performed from the exercises proposed by the journal L'Instruction Primaire during the same school year. These are preceded by a small presentation text from the principal of the school, which underlines the triple advantage - economic, educational and strictly disciplinary - of such teaching.'


This translates as: 'The manual work exercises we present are divided into two parts: folding exercises performed under the supervision of Mr. Beauvais, by the students, Tardy, Leboulenger, Defer, Lepage, Brun, Lecat, Brousier, Herbet, Godard, Heudebourg, etc. of the elementary course; Cutting exercises, performed by students Leborgne, Lecesne, Gaunet, Roger, Hochard, Poirier, Lepileur, Messou, Plessis, Petit-Jean, etc. under the supervision of Mr. Coeurderoyz. ... We adopted the primary instruction program because we felt it brought together the following advantages:

1. It does not require any special material and the finished notebooks, even the draft books, provide all the paper necessary for the exercises.

2. It meets the needs of children who like to have so much fun with paper, and who find it useful at the same time.

3. It serves as an additional help in teaching drawing and geometry.

These are the main considerations that have guided us; and if the results obtained do not show a perfect finish, in execution, they prove at least that we did not want to remain indifferent to a teaching that had been little widespread until then, but whose advantages seem to us to be indisputable.'


The paperfolds are:

The Newspaper Hat


The Paper Boat


The Mitre


A version of the Pencil Case

in which one end is sealed by a folded lock.


The Cut and Fold Windmill


Flattened Boxes (unidentifiable design)