The Public Paperfolding History Project

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The Basic Box
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design which, for want of a better name, I call the Basic Box. 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 Folding Box, a Japanese design which can then be flattened to create a basic pouch or packet, is a version of the Basic Box folded from a 2x3 rectangle so that the base of the box is a square.



As far as I know a version of the Basic Box first appears, as 'Kasten' in 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler, which was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar in 1873.



The design also appears, as 'Bandeja para pildoras' (Pill Tray) in an article titled 'El trabajo manual escolar' by Vicente Casto Legua in issue 191 of the Spanish magazine 'La Escuela Moderna' for February 1907, which was published in Madrid by Los Sucesores de Hernando.

The text says, roughly translated, that 'It is a simple construction that can be used for what its name indicates, as well as for a box for mantecadas, rings etc'.



Popular Science Magazine for May 1921 contains instructions for folding Basic Boxes. Information from Josť Tomas Buitrago.



'More Paper Magic' by Will Blyth, which was published by C Arthur Pearson in London in 1923, contains diagrams for a Basic Box into which holes have been cut so that it can be used as a 'Doorway Scoring Game'.