Although scrapbooking is one of the hottest activities in the arts and crafts market, the art of preserving memorabilia and memories in book form can be traced back for centuries in one form or another. Perhaps the most interesting bit of history is that Mark Twain was a prolific “scrapbooker,” gathering and pasting bits of his life and travels into an estimated 300 scrapbooks. In fact, he probably held the first patent on a scrapbook product when, in 1872, he developed a self-adhesive scrapbook, which allowed users to moisten a pre-glued area of a page and simply press the item into place—an innovation that, all told, put $50,000 into the author and humorist’s pocket.
While scrapbooking has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, the main motivation behind the practice has remained the same: to preserve memories. The proliferation of digital cameras, easy and affordable access to photo prints, a wide variety of scrapbook-related products and organizations, it’s no wonder that this hobby has flourished.
But today’s version of scrapbooking plays a larger role than simply the preservation of memories. Considering that many scrapbookers––perhaps the majority––are SAHMs (stay at home moms) or WAHMs (work at home moms) who spend much of their time caring for others, scrapbooking gives them an activity they can call their own. While this is mere hypothesis, it seems that moms often have a hard time taking time away from their families for themselves but because they’re preserving family moments and memories, it’s easier to justify the time and money spent on scrapbooking.