The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page


Paper Lanterns
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of paper lanterns. 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.

In Japan

The Long Lantern - 1884 onwards


The Lantern - 1884 onwards


In Western Europe / USA


In his book 'Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charltonia', published in 1654, Walter Charleton wrote 'fold the Cloth, as Boyes do paper for Lanterns’. Source: Journal of the Northern Renaissance, Issue 8 (2017) - 'Scrutinizing Surfaces ‘A unique instance of art’: The Proliferating Surfaces of Early Modern Paper' by Helen Smith (


The Fold and Cut Lantern - 1910 onwards