Thursday, May 03, 2007

Birth of Scrapbooking?

I received an email last week that got we wondering were the surge in scrapbooking started. This email was typical of many I get asking why I didn't put someone's particular product, style, region or them personally in Scrapped. This was a double header because it also combined the emails I get about where the birth of the full on, popular, product laden scrapbooking movement started.

"I understand that you've included a lot about Creative Memories, but I wonder some things, too, since I've never seen the movie. Did you also include anything about how the industry started, with Marielen and A.J. Christensen's store Keeping Memories Alive as the pioneer scrapbook supply store (from back in 1981)?"

"If you didn't include anything about the first store in your movie, would you be okay with filling my curiosity in about why not?"

When I was writing the script I kept finding conflicting reports about Latter Day Saints in Utah going acid free in 1976, Rhonda Anderson jump starting the scene for the general public two decades ago and other claims to fame. You can actually find documentation of people scrapbooking in the 1700's. Should they be discounted as early scrapbookers because they didn't have technology or understanding of acid / lignon free products? Especially if nowadays people embellish a 12 x 12 page with anything the cat dragged in. ;0)

What about Thomas Jefferson or Samuel Clemmons who actually had a patent for self adhesive scrapbook pages 135 years ago? Put that into terms of the technology at the time and he was as advanced as anything today in my mind.

What are your thoughts on this? What do you know? I want to hear what you think. It's probably an unanswerable question but I'd like to hear the perspective of some hard core croppers.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger mindakms said...

Funny, I was reading an article about the founder of Wikipedia at the hospital yesterday and so this morning I searched on Scrapbooking at wiki and found that the KMA people had CLEARLY been afoot on the entry for this hobby. It basically was an ad for them and never even mentions CM. My thoughts are this: tracking the birth of "scrapbooking" is not at all like naming the inventor of the cotton gin. Its a vast web of people who care about their family history that goes back hundreds of years and is too broad a category to name or even know them all!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Melissa O. said...

You can find scrapbooks even earlier than the 1700's and think about how powerful letters use to be. says a scrapbook is: an album in which pictures, newspaper clippings, etc., may be pasted or mounted.
The origin of the word is 1815-1825 and I personally have my great grandfather's WW1 scrapbook and my great great grandmothers scrapbook of newsclippings and photos. I think scrapbooking was more common before tv and the telephone, even if not everyone could afford photos. There would not have been the acid free movement in the 80's if we did not have the damaged scrapbooks from the early 1900's or the horrible magnetic albums. Those magnetic albums hurt the photos they held but they were still scrapbooks.

I think you could say KMA was the first store to move from being a craft store to a store focused on scrapbooking. CM was the first direct sales company for scrapbooking and brought the craft to many more counties with the focus on acid free. But there is no way to say who invented scrapbooking or even who started the digital scrapbooking movement, only who are the movers and shakers in this industry.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Agree with Melissa O - I think CM did take s/bing in its current form to the rest of the world though. If I think about what was available five years ago compared to now, the hobby has grown exponentially

At 4:30 AM, Anonymous M. Shamblen said...

The Smithsonian had a day dedicated to just this about a year ago. They had speakers and exhibits, and even brought out some of their scrapbooks from their vast archive collection. They had the authors of a book called the Scrapbook in American Life there. It was really an interesting day, and the speakers were great. I'm sure there is information on the Smithsonian's website.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger nancy_scraps said...

Scrapbooking was invented by humanity. One major aspect of being human is having a story. And, I think, wanting to preserve that story in some way is also very human

Before paper was available to the masses people made verbal scrapbooks. They told stories.

As soon as books were "invented" I'm sure at least one person thought of writing down their stories, or saving bits of fabric or rocks to remind them of their past.

Genealogy records existed long before "scrapbooking".

For any company to claim they invented scrapbooking is pure hubris on their part. All my scrapbooking supplies could disappear, and I would still want to record my stories somehow. I would still record my family tree even if I didn't have pictures.

Whew. Had to get that off my chest. I don't think I could be kind in any way to anyone who thought their company or their religion had invented scrapbooking.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa. That comment by nancy_scraps sounded awfully harsh. We are talking about scrapbooking here, right? Not atomic bombs or abortion? Good gosh! I don't think anyone claimed they "invented" scrapbooking, only that they were a part of its evolution. Good grief. No reason we can't be kind.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Creative Memories claims to be the "Company that invented scrapbooking". Go to their website, click on "Paper" and there you have it!


Post a Comment

<< Home