Tag Archives: scrapbooks

Now Showing: Scrap-y Art

It’s that time of year again…time to refresh the display cases in the Reading Room! This time we are indulging in our artsy side, focusing on scrapbook cover artwork from the collection. The display includes examples of painted covers, fabric and handwork, commercial books and even wood and copper. They represent individuals and clubs from around Wyoming, each one as unique as its creator. Be sure to check them out next time you are in!

Temporary Exhibit, Scrapbook art 2014, small case  2

Temporary Exhibit, Scrapbook art 2014, large case 2

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Friday Foodie: Estelle Reel Meyer’s Fruit Cake

Today’s Friday Foodie recipe comes from the scrapbook of Estelle Reel Meyer, the nation’s first woman elected to public office in the United States (Wyoming’s Superintendent of Public Instruction 1894-1898) and Director of Indian Education for the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1898-1910. Her extensive and eclectic scrapbooks also contain various beauty remedies and exercises, eye wash prescriptions and a recipe for a cholera cure.

Estelle Reel Meyer, 1890s (WSA No Neg)

Estelle Reel Meyer, 1890s
(WSA No Neg)

Meyer, Estelle Reel, scrapbook recipe for fruit cake, nd

Estelle’s Fruit Cake

1 pound of sugar
1 pound and a half of flour
16 eggs
Brandy, quarter of a pint
Raisins, 4 pounds
Currents, 2 pounds
1 1/2 teacups molasses
1 spoon full of soda
1 spoon full of cinnamon
1 spoon full of cloves
1 spoon full of nutmeg

Bake 4 hours if all put in one cake.

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Recycling Victorian Style

Scrapbooking was nearly as popular in the 1880s-1890s as it is today. Unlike today’s creations, these books were heavy on the scrap, including everything from newspaper clippings, programs, and letters to flowers, ribbons, charms and even chewing gum. Though there were dedicated “books” on the market, some even boasted moisten-able strips, these were usually expensive. So what was the stylish but frugal teenager/woman to do? Reuse catalogs of course!

Catalogs were expensive to produce and were often printed on heavy paper and bound like a book. As long as you didn’t mind the ghosts of their former use peeking out between your scraps, they were perfect candidates for reuse.

Below are a couple of examples of these wonderful recycled scrapbooks from the collection.

Cover of two catalogs turned scrapbooks. A peak inside shows the clever re-purposing of the bound catalogs.

Cover of two catalogs turned scrapbooks. A peak inside shows the clever re-purposing of the bound catalogs. (WSA H64-66)

Behind the newspaper clippings pasted on this page, you can see an elaborate chandelier

Behind the newspaper clippings pasted on this page, you can see an elaborate chandelier

Here you can see a gas light.

Here you can see a gas light.

The subject of this catalog becomes clear when you read the description left under these two clippings. "Fancy Moulded White Casket with Fance Corners..."

The subject of this catalog becomes clear when you read the description left under these two clippings. “Fancy Moulded White Casket with Fancy Corners…”

A lovely and ornate casket peaks out from behind this etching of the John Hunton Ranch.

A lovely and ornate casket peaks out from behind this etching of the John Hunton Ranch.

You can just make out part of a set of pillars designed to display a casket in a funeral parlor.

You can just make out part of a set of pillars designed to display a casket in a funeral parlor.

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