I came across this quotation in a book of (author) Jane Austen's letters, 
recounting her brother George's activity: "...industriously making and naming 
paper ships, at which he afterwards shoots horsechestnuts..." from the early 
1800s. Thoughts? I know it's possible, but is it likely? 

The Austen folks seem to think so: https://www.janeausten.co.uk/paper-ships/.  
You have to have or create an account to see the full article, but it includes 
a link to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=23&v=1wu5oKy4m5s

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