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Books Series

Foolscap Octavo

Foolscap Octavo

Renowned for its unique dimensions, Foolscap Octavo is a paper size that stands out in the realm of standard paper formats. Unlike the commonly used A4 from the ISO 216 series or Letter from the ANSI series, Foolscap Octavo carves its own niche.

Historically, Foolscap Octavo was a popular choice among writers and scholars. Its name derives from the watermark of a jester's cap (or 'fool's cap') that was once used to distinguish this type of paper. The term 'Octavo' refers to a page size resulting from folding each sheet of paper into eight leaves.

Foolscap Octavo paper dimensions


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2A046.81 x 66.221189 x 1682119 x 1683370 x 4768
A120.51 x 0.7113 x 181 x 237 x 51
4A066.22 x 93.621682 x 2378168 x 2384768 x 6741
A110.71 x 1.0218 x 262 x 351 x 74
A101.02 x 1.4626 x 373 x 474 x 105
A3+12.95 x 19.02329 x 48333 x 48933 x 1369
A1+23.98 x 35.98609 x 91461 x 911726 x 2591
A0+35.98 x 50.87914 x 129291 x 1292591 x 3662
A64.13 x 5.83105 x 14811 x 15298 x 420
A55.83 x 8.27148 x 21015 x 21420 x 595
A48.27 x 11.69210 x 29721 x 30595 x 842
A311.69 x 16.54297 x 42030 x 42842 x 1191
A91.46 x 2.0537 x 524 x 5105 x 147
A216.54 x 23.39420 x 59442 x 591191 x 1684
A82.05 x 2.9152 x 745 x 7147 x 210
A123.39 x 33.11594 x 84159 x 841684 x 2384
A72.91 x 4.1374 x 1057 x 11210 x 298
A033.11 x 46.81841 x 118984 x 1192384 x 3370

The dimensions of Foolscap Octavo are approximately 6.75 x 4.25 inches (171 x 108 mm). This compact size makes it an ideal choice for personal notebooks or diaries, offering portability without compromising on writing space.

Despite not being part of any modern standard series like ISO or ANSI, Foolscap Octavo continues to hold its ground in specific applications due to its historical significance and unique appeal. It serves as a testament to how traditional practices can persist amidst evolving standards.

While it may not be as ubiquitous as A4 or Letter sizes today, Foolscap Octavo holds an undeniable charm and utility that keeps it relevant in certain circles even today.

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Interesting facts about Foolscap Octavo

1: Foolscap Octavo Paper Size

Foolscap Octavo is a paper size that measures approximately 6.75 x 8.5 inches (17 x 22 cm). It gets its name from the watermark of a fool's cap that was traditionally used on this type of paper.

2: Historical Origin

The Foolscap Octavo paper size originated in England during the late 18th century and was commonly used for writing letters, legal documents, and books.

3: British Influence

Foolscap Octavo became widely adopted in British colonies around the world due to the influence of British trade and administration. It was particularly popular in countries like India, Australia, and Canada.

4: Folding Technique

The Foolscap Octavo size is achieved by folding a larger sheet of paper twice, resulting in eight leaves or sixteen pages. This folding technique made it convenient for binding into booklets or pamphlets.

5: Transition to Metric System

In the mid-20th century, many countries transitioned to using metric paper sizes. As a result, Foolscap Octavo gradually fell out of use and was replaced by standardized metric sizes such as A5 (148 x 210 mm) or B5 (176 x 250 mm).

6: Symbolic Meaning

The fool's cap watermark on Foolscap Octavo paper symbolized jesters or court fools who were known for their wit and humor. This symbolism added a touch of whimsy to official documents printed on this type of paper.

7: Variations in Watermarks

While the fool's cap watermark was the most common, there were variations of Foolscap Octavo paper with different watermarks, such as a crown or a coat of arms. These watermarks often indicated the paper's quality or origin.

8: Usage in Education

Foolscap Octavo paper was commonly used in schools for writing exercises and assignments. Its compact size made it easy to handle and store, making it popular among students and teachers alike.

9: Transition to Digital Era

With the advent of digital technology and widespread use of computers, Foolscap Octavo paper has become less relevant in modern times. However, it still holds nostalgic value for those who appreciate traditional stationery.

10: Collectible Item

Due to its historical significance and limited availability, Foolscap Octavo paper has become a collectible item among enthusiasts of vintage stationery and bookbinding. Some collectors seek out rare editions or documents printed on this unique paper size.