Ken's Paper Boat Page

Revised in 2011

X Wait..... If you came here from a Google search for instructions about folding a sheet of paper into a little boat like the one at the left, we can help!! Click the little boat and we'll give you the instructions. If you're interested in the other kind of paper boats ... real ones ... read on below.


Paper Boats? Is this for real?

This web page is primarily devoted to an obscure subject in the history of technology: the manufacture of full size boats from paper during the later half of the 19th century. These are not toy boats, but boats people could ride around in; racing shells, canoes and rowboats.

This may seem like an extremely odd thing to be doing, but it made sense at the time. (Trust me!) If you read elsewhere on these pages you'll discover why. Start with the "Short History" below.


Waters Boat Factory c. 1875
Waters Paper Boat Factory in Troy, NY c. 1875

So, what's on this site?

XShort History of 19th Century Paper Boats
(If you want the long story, contact me.)

XWhere to Find One
OK, can I go someplace to actually see a 19th Century Paper Boat?

XPeople still build these things?
Not really, but a few folk still give it a try (i.e. a review of what amateur paper boat builders have done
& some tricks of the trade, but no guarantee that they work!)

XSelected Articles from the quarterly newsletter, The Paper Boater
(This is a "best of...." compilation.)

X A Few Words from the World's Leading Authority on the History of Cellulose-Based Naval Architecture
(I guess that's me, he modestly admits.)

XAnd if paper boats seem odd, consider paper railroad car wheels,
Another 19th century accomplishment.

X Or... Paper Observatory Domes!

X Links? For paper boats? Are you kidding?
Well, take a look anyway. There might be something interesting lurking hereabouts.

XSo.... Anything New on the Subject?
Actually, there is....... every so often. Click here and find out if this is one of those times.

XWe've got some questions ourselves
Perhaps you can help us with some answers?

X Comments and Questions? I'm always happy to hear from a reader. Drop a note!
You'll find me as "paperweb" (at) "frontier" (dot) "com"
Sorry for the inconvenience, but this an attempt at decreasing spam by trying to outwit address harvesting software.

© Ken Cupery 2011

Waters Factory illustration from NY Daily Graphic from 1875
courtesy of Rensselaer County Historical Society, Troy, NY

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