Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Windmill
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Windmill. 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.

This paper Windmill is made by folding alone without using cuts. Information about other kinds of paper windmills can be found here.

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In Japan

In his article 'History of Origami in the East and the West before Interfusion', published in 'Origami 5: Fifth International Meeting of Origami, Science, Mathematics and Education', Koshiro Hatori asserts that, ''Many of the European origami models contained in Krause-Boelte's book (ie 'The Kindergarten Guide', published in 1881) are not included in contemporary Japanese records. The pig, house, sofa (also known as piano or organ), balloon (waterbomb), arrow (paper plane), salt cellar (cootie catcher), bird (pajarita or cocotte) and windmill ... were all born in Europe and imported into Japan along with the kindergarten system.' An accompanying illustration shows that this statement refers to the uncut design.

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1885

A drawing of the Windmill appeared in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885).

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In Western Europe / USA

1859

The list of paper folding designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel, which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859, includes a 'moulin à vent'. From its position in the list it can be inferred that this is the Windmill.

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1863

'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 contains a drawing of 'de molen' (the mill).

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1869

A design called 'Ein Windmuhle', which is not illustrated, but which from the context is most probably the Windmill, 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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'Paradise of Childhood' by Edward Wiebe, which was published by Milton, Bradley and Company in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1869, and is effectively a translation of Goldammer's 'Der Kindergarten', similarly includes a 'wind-mill' in its list of Forms of Life.

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The design also appears:

1873

As 'Windmuhle' i n 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler, which was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar 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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1877

In 'Kindergarten Practice' by Mary Gurney, which is a substantially abridged version, in two parts, of 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler. The second part, 'Froebel's Plane Surfaces', contains sections dealing with paper folding, cutting and weaving. The date of the first edition is not known. The second edition was published in 1877 in London by A N Myers and Co.

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The design also appears in part 2 'Die Praxis' of 'Theoretisches und praktisches Handbuch der Fröbelschen Erziehungslehre' by Bertha von Marentholtz-Bülow, which was published by George H Wigand in Kassel in 1887, where it is alsoused as the base of Forms of Beauty.

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As 'Un sorte de rosace' (a sort of rosette) in 'Cours de Travail Manuel (Pour les Garcons) - Premiere Partie - Cours Elementaire' by A Planty, which was published by Gedalge Jeune in Paris in 1887

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1879

In 'Manual Teorico-Practico de Educacion Parvulos' by D Pedro de Alcantara Garcia, which was published in Madrid in 1879.

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1880

There is mention of a design called 'The Windmill' in 'The Kindergarten Principle' by Mary J Lyschinska, which was published in London in 1880 by Wm Isbister Ltd, but no illustration is given.

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1882

This design also appears:

In part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published in 1882 by E. Steiger and Company in New York.

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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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1892

The Windmill is mentioned in the instructions for making the double boat in 'Le Travail Manuel a L'ecole Primaire' by Jully & Rocheron, which was published by Librairie Classique Eugene Belin in Paris in 1892, though not presented as a design in oits own right..

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The Windmill also appears:

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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1894

As 'Le Moulin a Vent' in 'Jeux et Occupations Pour les Petits: Guide des Mères et des Institutrices' by Henriette Suzanne Brés was published by Librairie Classique Fernand Nathan in Paris in 1894.

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1895

In 'L'enseignement manuel dans les ecoles du degre primaire (garcons)' by Rene Leblanc, which was published by Librairie Larousse in Paris in 1895.

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As 'Winduhlflugel' (windmill sails) in 'Der Kindergarten' by A S Fischer, which was published by Alfred Holder in Wien in 1895.

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1896

The Windmill is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding' was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.

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'Froebel's Occupations', written by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith and published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, of Boston and New York in 1896 includes the observation 'In the firelit winter evenings, before the days of the useful (and ugly) match, our grandmothers folded dainty lamplighters ... and when the pretty work was over, marvellous paper boats and boxes and windmills were fashioned for the expectant audience. Many times in the quiet home-life of the German peasant Froebel ... saw parents and children united in this simple art ...' Unfortunately we cannot know which design of paper windmill is being referred to here.

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The Windmill also appears:

1897

In Lois Bates' 'Kindergarten Guide', which was first published by Longmans, Green and Co in London in 1897.

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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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1903

In 'La Ensenanza del Trabajo Manuel' by Pedro de Alcántara García and Teodosio Leal y Quiroga, which was published in Madrid in 1903.

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1904

In 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Español in Madrid in 1904.

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1907

As 'Estrella de mar' (Starfish), despite only having four arms, in an article titled 'El trabajo manual escolar' by Vicente Casto Legua in the January 1907 issue of the Spanish magazine 'La Escuela Moderna' which was published in Madrid by Los Sucesores de Hernando.

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1909

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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1928

'Fun with Paperfolding' by William D Murray and Francis J Rigney, which was published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928, contains a version of the Windmill folded from a blintzed windmill base.

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1937

'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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1940

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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1948

As the 'Pinwheel' in 'The Art of Chinese Paper folding for Young and Old' by Maying Soong, which was published by Harcourt Brace and Company of New York in 1948.

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1956

As the 'Windmill' in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956, as part of the 'Multiform' sequence.

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