Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scrapbooks and Steampunk

Have you ever wondered who invented self-pasting scrapbooks? Well, wonder no more. They were invented by Mark Twain, the author of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and the Prince and the Pauper, among other books.
Mark Twain was tired of making scrapbooks with pots of glue, according the Mark Twain museum in Hannibal, Missouri. He pictured a scrapbook with glue already on the page, ready to moisten and use. He developed this idea and applied for a patent.
On June 24, 1873, he received his patent for "Improvement in Scrapbooks." He then took his idea to a firm that began producing "Mark Twain's Patent Self-Pasting Scrapbooks."
The scrapbooks were sold in more than 30 sizes and models, from pocket size to ones that would hold almost a half of a newspaper page. Specialist books were developed for druggists to hold prescriptions, as well as other organizations.
Of Mark Twain's three patents, this one made a profit. In 1877, about 25,000 scrapbooks sold.
Hannibal, MO. had their first Steampunk Festival last year and had more interest than expected with approximately 1000 people showing up.  This years festival will be September 5-7, 2015. I purchased my first piece of steampunk jewelry today in Hannibal's Historic Museum.
I've got my thinking cap on -- I want to challenge myself to come up with an ATC or pocket letter with an antebellum/Border War/Civil War images. Do I have any rubber stamps with images that will suit? Will have to dig in the ole craft barn collection. 
And, I've been collecting miniature items from thrift stores to make a fairy garden. I have quite a few images/ideas pinned to my miniature Pinterest board "Miniature Scenes." I think I've changed my mind about the fairy garden. I think I want to make a diorama instead with a large glass fish aquarium. In the Hannibal museum, they had 10 dioramas of scenes behind glass from Mark Twain's novel "Tom Sawyer" right in a row. Pretty cool if you ask me!


  1. Thanks for the history lesson and good luck with your projects.

  2. a really interesting piece of information - hope you get started on your diorama soon - these were very popular in Victorian England too - Lesley x

  3. I had no idea!! Thanks for sharing! You always find these great trivia historical facts!! Keep digging!


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