Acquisition No.: 2014-08F
Title: Scrap Book: Victorian Era Art Form.
Item History:

This outstanding Kuhn/Eck Family scrapbook contains rare and unusual pieces. Some are one of a kind and the only known to exist. There are 527 pieces in the book. A small percentage are loose and tucked in between pages. The artist had run out of blank pages but the urge to collect and preserve objects of beauty and friendship continued. A wealth of local family and business names fill these pages.

In 2014, this scrapbook was recovered from the attic of George and Esther Eck Kuhn where it had been stored for nearly a century. It would be difficult to find a finer example of a Victorian era scrapbook in this area in terms of content. The exterior condition is less than perfect due to the brittleness of the low quality paper stock used in the manufacture of the book. The creator of this scrapbook must have had an abundance of friends to gather such a beautiful and varied collection of items. Mostly calling cards and advertising cards, which were very popular during the Victorian Era, fill the pages to the brim. Penny postcards and die cuts decorate some pages.

In the late 1800's, embossed bound volumes like this one were sold to satisfy the craze for collecting greetings cards, die-cuts, calling cards, and interesting print. Coincidentally today the hobby of scrapbooking has become a multi-billion dollar industry with specialized magazines, conventions and a large number of companies creating products solely for the activity. The scrapbooking fad was equally as huge in Victorian times.

Paper items were collected by both children and adults (most often females) and pasted into Victorian scrapbooks. A simple mixture of flour and water provided an adequate adhesive. The decorative albums were composed of cut-out scraps, collectible cards, and trade cards which were arranged on a page artistically or as the owner saw fit. Women's magazines from the 1800s often describe the making of a scrap-book as a rainy-day occupation and included a list of scrapbooking supplies. Nineteenth century scrapbooks were created for a variety of reasons: as a craft project, as a way to preserve letters or photos, and as a way to document a family history and special events.

A small sampling of pages follow.

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Location: Case VI
Acq. Date: 5/22/14
Acquired from: Mary Esther Kuhn
Type: collection
Curator: ckrc