Scrapbooks: The Pinterest Inspiration Boards of the Past?
Before there was Pinterest (a visual discovery tool to organize ideas for your projects and interests), there was the scrapbook.
The Depression-era interior design dreams of one woman grace the pages of a scrapbook in the Getrude Reasor Papers (WH883). Full of colorful magazine clippings depicting ideal kitchens, tableware, and dining and living rooms, this scrapbook is believed to have been created by June H. Davidson (1892-1994).
Mrs. Davidson was a mother of one and homemaker whose husband, John—according to the Denver city directories—worked a variety of jobs around Denver in the 1920s and 1930s (delivery truck driver, tram employee, Chateau Apartments caretaker, bus driver). The Davidson family moved frequently throughout this time period, perhaps necessitating June's interest in interior decorating.
A second item in the Reasor Papers is a telephone book that was remade into a scrapbook. It holds Denver newspaper announcements of World War II-era weddings and clippings of bridal gown designs. This scrapbook is a reminder that wartime made for scaled-back weddings—and a need to reuse everything.
See the photo gallery below for more images from the Getrude Reasor Papers or visit DPL's Western History/Genealogy department to view the original items.
There is something so appealing in the artifact quality of a scrapbook. I like the "design-y" examples you found - June Davidson was an original DIYer! What's old is new again...
Thanks for reading, Abby! I think this scrapbook is also very telling about the bleak times of the Great Depression. Many of the images June cut out featured expensive furnishings in vast rooms. Since the Davidson family was of modest means, I think this scrapbook served as sort of a "dream house" escape for June, too.
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