The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Paperfolding Puzzles
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of Paperfolding Puzzles ie puzzles solved, or both set and solved, by folding paper. 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.

The puzzles on this page can be solved through trial and error manipulation. There is a separate page for Mathematical Paperfolding Puzzles ie those which can only be solved using mathematics.

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The Cherries Puzzle - 1502 onwards

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1931 - Folding Postage Stamps

This is a puzzle by Henry Dudeney which appears in '536 Puzzles and Curious Problems by Henry Dudeney' which was a combination of almost all the material previously published in his 'Modern Puzzles' (published in 1926) and 'Puzzles and Curious Problems' (published in 1931), edited into a single volume by Martin Gardner, and published by Charles Scribner's Sons in New York in 1976. Unfortunately Gardner does not say in which of the volumes each of the puzzles originally appeared.

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This puzzle was also discussed in Martin Gardner's article 'The combinatorial richness of folding a piece of paper' which appeared in 'Scientific American' Vol. 224, No. 5 of May 1971, pp. 110-117.

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c1939 onwards - The Flexatube

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c1942 - Lock 'em Up

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1971 onwards - Robert Neale's Beelzebub

This puzzle by Robert Neale was first published in Martin Gardner's article 'The combinatorial richness of folding a piece of paper' which appeared in 'Scientific American' Vol. 224, No. 5 of May 1971, pp. 110-117. The solution was published the following month.

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1971 onwards - Robert Neale's Sheep and Goats

This puzzle by Robert Neale was first published in Martin Gardner's article 'The combinatorial richness of folding a piece of paper' which appeared in 'Scientific American' Vol. 224, No. 5 of May 1971, pp. 110-117. The puzzle is a treatment of the Woven Flexatube. The object is to transform the flexagon to separate the white and black areas so that, when solved, one face of the flexagon is all white and the other all black. The solution was published the following month.

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