Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old time recycling

I try to recycle a lot of materials when I'm making books. It's a common trend now, really. As we all know, there were a few decades of excess leading up to the current Reduce, Reuse, Recycle generation. What happened before those decades of excess? Ah, I see, of course they recycled too! Obvious when you think about how the quilts and rugs and such were made. Apparently also true regarding scrapbooks and diaries. My mother works with a local historical society and has transcribed some old dairies and is now digitizing old scrapbooks. She mentioned that some of the diaries were homemade, using brown paper that was stitched together to make a book. These scrapbooks, which belonged to Mrs Burnett, are also very homemade.

This first photo shows a scrapbook made from wallpaper. Large sheets of wallpaper were folded in half and sewn together with string to make a book. These newspaper clippings were collected during the 1940s and 50s so they are aging pretty well. The wallpaper was likely much better quality paper than the newspaper clippings, so that has probably helped.

Before Mrs Burnett made that handy scrapbook from wallpaper, she also used Eaton's catalogues for her newspaper clippings. One of these scrapbook catalogues is from 1925, also aging very well. Check out the price of those full-grain leather workboots - shipping included!

Wallpaper books and Eaton's catalogues, filled to overflowing with newspaper clippings. How's that for some recycling genius?


Velma Bolyard said...

these are fascinating records of "everday" life. i have a wee collection of this kind of book. they are piognant, simple, profound.

MyHandboundBooks said...

very true, Velma!

KarleighJae said...

Wish we could pay that much for boots now-a-days.

MyHandboundBooks said...

yes, KJ, wouldn't that be nice?!