Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Blintz Box or Masu / The Winnowing Box
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design I call the Blintz Box but which is also often just known as the Masu (which just means box in Japanese). 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 Blintz Box is closely related to the Junk Box (the box from which the Chinese Junk is made)

The Blintz Box

In Japan

1931

As far as I know the first appearance of this design in Japan is in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was published in Japan in 1931.

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In West Europe / USA

1863

A design, 'Het ashbakje' (the ash tray), which appears to be the Blintz Box / Masu is illustrated in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers: Volume 1: Wat men van een stukje papier al maken kan: Het vouwen' (What one can make from a piece of paper Folding), one of a series of four books written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.

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1869

A design called 'Das Geschlossene Kasten' (the closed box), which is not illustrated, but which is most probably the Blintz Box / Masu, appears in a list of designs in 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer, which was published by Habel in Berlin in 1869.

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1874

A picture of what appears to be the Blintz Box or Masu appears in the revised third version of 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer which was published by Carl Babel in Berlin in 1874.

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1897

Diagrams appear in Lois Bates' 'Kindergarten Guide', which was first published by Longmans, Green and Co in London in 1897. This is the earliest instance I know of where folding diagrams are presented in the form of a photo montage.

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This design also appears:

1937

As the 'Open Box' 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.

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1951

As 'La Caja Cuadrada' (The Square Box) in the extended version of 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1951. In this version the basic box is provided witha lid made in a similar way.

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1956

As 'Utility Box' in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956

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The Winnowing Box

In Japan

1931

As far as I know the first appearance of this design in Japan is in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was published in Japan in 1931.

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In Western Europe / USA

1937

As far as I know the first appearance of this design in the West is as the 'Dustpan' 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.

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1956

The design also appears as 'The Dustpan' in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956

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