The Public Paperfolding History Project

Main Index Page


Division into Thirds and Fifths
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the technique of dividing intio thirds by folding, and of designs that depend on the ability to make such a division. 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.


Division into Thirds

A Corporal folded into thirds in both directions is shown in Albrecht Durer's engraving of the 'Mass of St Gregory' which dates from 1511 (the date is in the chest at bottom left).


Pinwheel / Puzzle Purse / Thread Container / Menko

1734 onwards in Japan / 1769 onwards in Western Europe / USA


'At Home Tonight' by Herbert McKay, which was published by Oxford University Press in London, New York and Toronto in 1940, gives a way of dividing a strip of paper (referred to as a straight edge) into thirds by comparison by eye that two lengths are equal.


Division into Fifths

A method of finding a location point to allow division into fifths can be found 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