Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Bellows
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Bellows. 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 Bellows is an active play design. Compressing the design sends a jet of air out of the hole in the top. It seems to have fallen out of popularity in modern times and is now little known or folded.

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1863

As far as I know the Bellows (under the name 'De blassbalk', or de blassbalg in Afrikaans) first appears in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers 1: Wat men van een stukje papier al maken kan: Het vouwen' (The Small Paperwork 1: What one can make from a piece of paper: Folding) by Elise Van Calcar, which was published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.

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1864

Diagrams are first found in 'Spielbuch fur Knaben' by Hermann Wagner, which was published by Verlag von Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1864, although the foreword is dated May 1863, which argues that the book was complete at that date.

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1865

The diagrams that appeared in 'Spielbuch fur Knaben' by Hermann Wagner also appear in 'Spielbuch fur Madchen' by Maria Leske (a pseudonym of Marina Krebs), which was published by Verlag von Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1865.

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1873

There is reference to 'Le petit soufflet' (the little bellows) in a list of designs in 'Exercices et Travaux pour les Enfants Selon la Méthode et les Procédés de Pestalozzi et de Froebel' by Fanny and Charles Delon, which was published by Librairie Hachette in Paris in 1873. Unfortunately there is no illustration to confirm the identification of the design.

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The design also appears:

In 'The Popular Recreator', which was published by Cassell and Co in London in 1873.

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1874

In the revised version of 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer which was published by Carl Babel in Berlin in 1874.

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1876

In 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876.

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1880

In 'Un million de jeux et de plaisirs' by T de Moulidars, which was first published in 1880 and subsequently republished as 'Grande encyclopédie méthodique, universelle, illustrée, des jeux et des divertissements de l'esprit et du corps', under the title 'Le Soufflet'.

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1881

In 'Cassell's Book of Indoor Amusements, Card Games and Fireside Fun', which was published by Cassell and Co in London in 1881.

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1882

In Part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882. These diagrams have no title other than the designation 'Various kinds of 'balloons' can also be made', indicating that the authors regard this as a variation of the Waterbomb design.

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1889

As 'Confection d'un soufflet en papier' in 'La Science Pratique' by Gaston Tissandier, which was published by G Masson in Paris in 1889.

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1891

In 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891. This book is an English version of 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' enhanced by the addition of a few extra designs.

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The Boy's Own Paper issue 656 of 8th August 1891, under the title 'How to Make a pair of Bellows out of a Sheet of Newspaper'.

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1893

In 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel' by M P Martin, which was published by Armand Collin & Cie in Paris in 1893.

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1895

In Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding', which was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896 (drawing only).

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1900

In 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.

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As 'Le Soufflet' in the French children's magazine 'Mon Journal', probably in 1900, although I have not been able to identify the exact date of the article.

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1909

As 'Le souflet' in 'Petit Manuel de Travaux d'Amateurs' by H de Graffigny, which was published by Collection A L Guyot in Paris in 1909.

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1920

In 'Paper Magic' by Will Blyth which was published by C Arthur Pearson in London in 1920, under the title 'Working Bellows'.

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1931

In 'La Nature'during the 2nd Half of 1931(I do not know the exact date or issue no) in an article by Alber headed 'Pliage de Papiers' and subheaded 'Le Soufflet'.

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1936

In 'Paper Toy Making' by Margaret Campbell, which was first published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date. Notes accompany the diagrams, to the effect that 'These bellows will easily blow out a candle' and 'The blast will be improved by cutting off a small portion with scissors, where the air escapes'.

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1939

In 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.

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1940

As 'Fuelle' 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.

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In 'At Home Tonight' by Herbert McKay, which was published by Oxford University Press in London, New York and Toronto in 1940.

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1956

In 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The text says, 'Origin: Japanese'.

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