Harkness Family Wine Book scrapbook image

Harkness Family Wine Book
ca. 1970's
“If you like wine and have kids,” writes Deb Harkness on the blog Serious Eats, chances are they will grow up with some interest in wine, too. Even your nieces and nephews may get turned on to the grape. So why not keep track of what you're drinking, with whom, and maybe even what meal it accompanied? It's a good way for you to record your changing experiences with wine.” Harkness urges would-be wine enthusiasts to think of the wine scrapbook as personal, idiosyncratic extension of any diary or journal. “To get started you don't need anything more glamorous or expensive than an unused diary,” she advises. “Some steam, some elbow grease, and some glue and you're set. Then, sometime during the next quarter of a century, you can hand it down to the next generation. If they're anything like me, they'll be thrilled to receive it.” (Thanks to Amanda Bowers for the link.)

10.02.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Molley Kelley scrapbook image

Molley Kelley
Briarcliff Manor, NY
With clear, blocky handwriting and dogged intentionality, Molly Kelley unfolds her chronicle over the pages of her book so that the passage of time is carefully orchestrated: there are drawings, collages, certificates, and posters; artifacts rescued from a hike; diary entries recording special dinners with Aunt Jessie; even a fragment from a broken shovel. Today, eighty years later, the ghosted impressions of cloth tape (cellophane tape wouldn’t be invented for another year or so) add an additional layer of withered beauty to these pages, once carefully composed, with limited means, by a thoughtful young diarist.

10.01.09     Comments (1)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Francis “Pop” Johnson scrapbook image

Francis “Pop” Johnson
Waterbury, CT
ca. 1940s
Francis “Pop” Johnson enlisted in 1942 but wasn’t sent overseas until the end of the war. He served in the China Burma India theater and rose rapidly from sergeant to corporal.
His scrapbook — a preformatted album entitled His Service Record — was an oversized, hardbound memory book that interspersed wartime chronologies with blank pages. Published in 1942, it was described as “a book for which many have long felt a need, a book that will become increasingly valuable with age.” Rare was the soldier who filled everything in—and when entries were made, they were brief and perfunctory. Included here are Johnson’s Good Conduct Medal, his dog tags, money in multiple denominations, and a set of identification papers that include a full set of fingerprints.

09.30.09     Comments (1)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

The Harvard Pugilists scrapbook image

The Harvard Pugilists
Place Unknown
ca. 1900's
Unusually minimal in its composition, this scrapbook consists entirely of photographs of the Harvard boxing team, silhouetted and placed carefully on each page. The only other element is typographic: thin lines of type are sliced in clean lines and placed over, under and around the body of each pugilist. The result is breathtaking in its sheer simplicity, and utterly captivating in its elegant and restrained use of word and image, making it — pardon the pun — a knockout.

09.29.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Stunt Books scrapbook image

Stunt Books
Various locations
The culture of "stunts" was a particular social oddity during the Jazz Age, and included such things as flagpole sitting and dance marathons, though simpler fare (sometimes characterized as jokes and frolics) were also part of this enduring ritual of silliness. Party favors often included fortunes, typically written in rhyming couplets or prose, as in this example taken from Elinor Moses' Stunt Book: "Oer a long-haired artist, you will lose your heart; you may wish to wed him; he's wedded to his art." Other party favors included trinkets and tricks to be performed. Later in the century, punch cards offered the same service, with rolled-up challenges waiting to be released upon the puncture of a pencil tip.

09.28.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Weekend at the Cottage II  scrapbook image

Weekend at the Cottage II
Grand Rapids, MI
Cards and tallies from three bridge parties in 1929; an envelope, place card, postcard and toothpick (still in its wrapper) from the Post Tavern in Battle Creek, Michigan, and a playbill from the Apollo Theatre in Chicago are just a few of the items featured in this book.

09.25.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Ellen Donovan II scrapbook image

Ellen Donovan II
Liberty, MO
Ellen Donovan's scrapbook is distinguished by the typical mementos framing a young girl's life: dance cards, party favors, photographs and autographs from her friends. It is the journal that sets young Donovan apart: her report of graduation, her gifts, the baccalaureate address and school parties, are all recounted in extraordinary and spirited detail.

09.24.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Elizabeth Bailey II scrapbook image

Elizabeth Bailey II
New Milford, CT
Elizabeth Bailey attended the Ingleside School for Girls in Connecticut, which in 1915 became the Canterbury School. (Canterbury's noteworthy alumni include John F. Kennedy Jr., Sargent Shriver and Paris Hilton.)

While autographs were captured for future viewing, some scrapbook makers, like Bailey, kept meticulous (if cryptic) accounts of their own lives.

09.23.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Elizabeth Hildreth II scrapbook image

Elizabeth Hildreth II
Auburndale, MA
This inside front cover from an early-20th century college scrapbook presents a whimsical variation on the theme of picture-only collage. Elizabeth Hildreth's book begins with a blurry snapshot of a kewpie doll surrounded by a whirling constellation of monograms, which were themselves highly collectable by both men and women during this period. (The English writer Evelyn Waugh had several such scrapbooks, which may have been compiled by someone other than he: they are meticulous, fastidiously — and densely — arranged on the page.) Indeed, while many collectors pasted their specimens into an alphabetical taxonomy, young Hildreth operated under no such apparent editorial constraints. Like many young people, her interest seems to have been based on creating pleasing compositions. Nevertheless, her pages display none of the polite placements that so consistently characterize many other nineteenth century scrapbooks. Collaged elements in Hildreth's book are more playful, and include fragments of letterheads and other typographic miscellany.

09.22.09     Comments (0)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Ellen Amelia Row II scrapbook image

Ellen Amelia Row II
Indiana, PA
Hailing from the same hometown as Jimmy Stewart, Ellen Amelia Row graduated from Clearfield High School in 1911 and later attended the four-year course at the Indiana Pennsylvania State Normal School (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania.) Several items in her scrapbook pertain to the Kiskiminetas Springs School (now a boys private, nondenominational secondary school.)

The scrapbook, manufactured by the Samuel Ward Company of Boston, contains 30 heather grey double-sided scrapbook sheets, onto which Row identified items in white ink: dances and football games, drawings and notes from friends, snapshots, theatre programs, pressed flowers, a stick of chewing gum and two flattened cigarettes: under one, dated 1914, is written “Mick” Shirey. In 1918, Row married Clearfield native Earl Shirey: online computer census information for 1930 indicates that Earl was a manager of a wholesale lumber company in Clearfield and the couple had two children.

09.21.09     Comments (1)     digg | del.ic.io.us | reddit

Scrapbooks cover

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Scrapbooks cover A New Book by Jessica Helfand
Coming this fall from Yale University Press

A gorgeous visual history of American scrapbooks and their evolution over two hundred years. 242 pages, 425 photographs printed in full color.

Combining pictures, words, and a wealth of personal ephemera, scrapbook makers preserve on the pages of their books a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Highly subjective, rich in emotional meaning, the scrapbook is a unique and often quirky form of expression in which a person gathers and arranges meaningful materias to create a personal narrative. This richly illustrated book is the first to focus close attention on the history of American scrapbooks—their origins, their makers, their diverse forms, the reasons for their popularity, and their place in American cultural life.
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Best of this year's gift books

The New York Times June 8, 2008

In this Op-Ed page SUMMERSCAPES, Jessica Helfand reflects on the fascinating "Stunt" Book kept by a young California debutante in the summer of 1920.

more news ->

came from a distinguished family in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She kept a detailed scrapbook of her adventures that profiles life in the south during the 1920s.

go to
lydia blanchard website ->