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People have collected paper mementos for many years, including newspaper clippings, poems, and notes. The first book about how to put together a scrapbook was published in 1825. Scrapbooking became widely popular during this time, and other books were published on the subject.

In the mid-1800s, publishers of scrapbooks and albums began embellishing their scrapbook pages with themes and pictures of birds or flowers. When photography was invented, scrapbooks were manufactured with pockets to hold photographs. Photos gained popularity in scrapbooks after the invention of the Kodak camera and roll film in 1888.

The popularity of scrapbooking faded after World War I, when recession forced scrapbook publishers to close. The hobby did not gain popularity again until the '90s, when magazines began publishing scrapbook ideas. Scrapbooking is once again a popular hobby today, and this has put vintage scrapbooks on the radar of many collectors.

Quick Facts

  • One of the first famous American scrapbookers was Thomas Jefferson. He created albums filled with newspaper clippings from his presidency, as well as favorite poems
  • In 1872, author Mark Twain invented a scrapbook with pre-pasted pages. "Mark Twain's Adhesive Scrapbook" became one of his most popular books and netted the author $50,000 in profits
  • Vintage scrapbooks were usually created around a theme, such as recipes, home remedies, or sewing patterns. Young girls often created scrapbooks filled with cards and correspondence that they received

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