Quite how popular scrapbook keeping still is I’ve no idea. Our local stationary shop continues to sell a workmanlike version but the idea of cutting out pictures and articles from magazines must seem fairly quaint at best to most kids today.
I was not averse to filling a few in myself back as a youngster, and the basic scrapbook concept remains unchanged; a collection of large sugar paper pages stapled into a card cover sheet. These are quite bland today but were often decorated with bright eye-catching illustrated cover art as seen on this small selection which I’ve accumulated lately.
In The News Scrapbook gives the buyer an idea of the sort of pictures they might want to save. The illustration looks to be from the Forties but the designs were often in stock for years, and this one was filled in the mid-Fifties by John in Cleethorpes with letters and postcards from a penfriend in Berlin.
Naming your product Scrapbook 1953 seems a little limiting sales-wise but the illustration of a thatched cottage has been pasted over the rest of the original cover, which has an illustration of the royal coat of arms and the word Coronation. One assumes the publishers did this to try and sell unsold stock after the happy event.
The Speciality Scrap Book looks to be from the Fifties from the type and illustration, and was issued by publishers in London. The owner of this one has carefully pasted in pop pin-ups from Boyfriend magazine which launched in 1959, the first magazine to concentrate on the growing music scene in the UK.
Scrap Book has a very cheery and typically eccentric Festival of Britain look about the cover illustration and as the random collection of local Sheffield news cuttings inside date from the late Fifties onwards this helps to confirm the date. It has obviously been well used over the ensuing years, and seems to be the sixth such scrap book kept by the owner.
Lastly the Fun Time Scrap Book, with a Sixties illustration – that has to be Paul McCartney the girl is clipping out – but clearly done by someone who learnt their craft much earlier. And as if to confirm how long these books could remain on the dusty shelves of post-offices or seaside gift shops, this has a decimal price sticker on the back, which means it was still being sold in the early Seventies. The illustration is even signed, by one Allan Rae. But having spent 9.5p on it the owner never got around to starting the scrap book.
Two more vintage covers on the site here.