The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Kite Bows

This page attempts to record what is known about the history of folded paper or card Kite Bows. 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.



'Les Jeux de Jeunes Garcons', illustrated by Xavier Le Prince (otherwise known as Xavier Leprince), which was published in Paris in 1822 (although the drawings are dated 1821) contains a picture of boys using folded playing cards as bows on the tail of a kite.

The accompanying text reads 'At the bottom of the kite hangs a long tail made from a string to which are attached, from distance to distance, folded and flattened cards or half cards; the tail terminates in a kind of cut paper tassel.'



'The Boy's Own Book' by William Clarke, which was was published by Vizetelly, Branston and Company in London in 1828, mentions 'tying bobs of writing paper four times folded ... at intervals ... on a string' to form the tail of the kite.



The folding of paper Kite Tails is described in 'The Boy's Holyday Book', which was published by G H Davidson in London around 1844.