A paperfolding paradise
The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell
page attempts to record what is known about the origin
and history of the origami design known as the House and
its various derivative designs. 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 page is about the House either as a design in its own right or appearing as a base. There is a separate page for Designs Derived from the House.
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' in 2011, Koshiro Hatori asserts that, ''Many of the European origami models contained in Krause-Boelte's book (ie 'The Kindergarten Guide') 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.'
So far as I know the first publication of the House in Japan was in 1931 in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda (although the house only appears as a step towards the folding of the Piano rather than a design in its own right)
In Western Europe / USA
As far as I know the House first appears in the historical record 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.
The House appears as a base for other designs, ythough not as a design in its own right, 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.