History of Scrapbooking

Over the years, scrapbooking has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry and is one of the most popular pastimes for women. But did you know that the history of scrapbooking dates back to the 15th century? People have began using scrapbooking as a means to preserve cherished mementos, recipes, letters, poems and, later, photographs. Now, scrapbooking is as much as an art form as it is a means of self-expression.

The history of scrapbooking appears to have begun in England in the 15th century. At the time, however, they were referred to as "commonplace books" and included things such as family recipes, famous quotations and inspirational messages, personal letters and poems, and other such items. At the turn of the 16th century, these books took on the term "friendship albums" and were used as a way to document friendships and other personal relationships. Friends signed them and wrote messages back and forth and sometimes included hand-drawn images or scraps of cloth.

It is said that one of the first scrapbookers in the American history of scrapbooking was Thomas Jefferson. That's right! The third president of the United States used scrapbooking as a way to preserve newspaper clippings that included references to him and his politics. Another notable piece of the history of scrapbooking included the discovery of Thomas Jefferson's scrapbook titled "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," which he created during his retirement in 1820. This scrapbook differed from his others in that it included clippings from several Bibles that he found important.

Famous author Mark Twain is another famous scrapbooker noted in the history of scrapbooking. Twain actually invented a book that contained pre-pasted pages, which he patented as "Mark Twain's Adhesive Scrapbook," which reportedly earned him a whopping $50,000 in profits -- quite a hefty sum in the year 1872, to say the least.

However, the most profound moment in the history of scrapbooking didn't occur until 1980. That's when Marielen Christensen of Utah first showed the world the amazing art of scrapbooking. At the World Conference of Records in her home state, she displayed more than 50 volumes of her personal scrapbooks, which created such a buzz, she and her husband later went on to open the first scrapbooking store and publish a how-to book titled "Keeping Memories Alive."

Now, scrapbooking appears to have taken on a life of its own. With scrapbooking clubs, national contests, digital scrapbooking and even pre-made scrapbooking pages, anyone and everyone can take part in the joy of scrapbooking.

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