History of Scrapbooking

Last Updated 10/14/09

by Debbie Hamman

I know we have mostly rubber stamp artists among us, but I thought you might enjoy a little history on scrapbooking. The information comes from the Encyclopedia of Ephemera.

Long before anyone ever heard of acid free, scrapbooks have been apart of culture. The scrapbook was devised to display a wide range of minor mementoes. It housed items like feathers, paper cuts, dried seaplants, poems, pressed flowers and other graphic ephemera. The name for the album was The Common Place Book. The word scrapbook did not appear till the 1830's. Memory albums which are used today was coined in the early 1990's.

The scrap collecting craze started in 1826 due in part to a published book by John Poole which was titled Manuscript Gleanings and Literary Scrapbook. It presented creative ways to display poems, journal writings, and plain old scraps. The first scrap album appeared on the market in 1836. It had ornate covers, separate title pages, and frames. Early albums had decorative labels, products from scrap publishers, and simple ads.

Scrapbooks began in Germany. They had no cut-outs or cropped pictures. Printed pictures were etched, engraves or litographed. When they got to Victorian England, even Queen Victoria had a scrapbook to display in the royal palace.

Die cutting and stamping appeared in albums by the 1870's. Companies began producing images just for the album makers. With the invention of the camera in the 1880's, photos appeared on the pages. George eastman and the Kodak camera revolutionized scrapbook design.

So when you watch Carol Duvall and see all those cool scrapbook pages, remember the phrase---what's old is new again. The scrapbook magazines should take a page from history. Die-cuts and page layout has been around for over 100 years. Even with all the hours and money that goes into this hobby, try to remember the memories of family and friends might be a bit more important than the materials used to create the album.

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