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RIP to a school supplies legend

E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper, passed away at 85.

The ‘80s and ‘90s gave rise to some iconic school supplies.

Lisa Frank folders, Mr. Sketch scented markers, and Trolls pencil toppers created endless possibilities to stand out from your classmates.

But the Trapper Keeper, which turned a typical three-ring binder into a personal statement, was the most iconic of them all.

The Trapper Keeper…

… was introduced by Mead in 1981. By the end of the decade, the company claimed half of all middle and high school students had one, per The New York Times.

The name came from its features:

  • Its vertical folders “trapped” papers
  • While plastic rings acted as the “keeper” holding everything together

Endless design options, including “Miami Vice”-style beach scenes, red Lamborghinis, and neon lasers, had kids fighting over styles in stores.

E. Bryant Crutchfield…

… who invented the Trapper Keeper, passed away last week at 85.

Crutchfield said when he started working, school products were “drab and boring.” The Trapper Keeper changed that forever — or at least until computers rendered most school stationery obsolete.

If you’re feeling extra nostalgic, Mead recently relaunched the Trapper Keeper just in time for back-to-school shopping.

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