E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper, RIP

Originally published at: E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper, RIP | Boing Boing


Probably true for Canada also. We loved those things and everyone had to have one. I distinctly recall pleading with my mom until she was ready to disown me about it. She finally got me the one I wanted so I would shut the hell up about it. I was crazy for those new fangled “computers” so this model of “Trapper Keeper” was among my prized possessions. It was actually a knockoff, but I loved it.

I loved the poor thing to death and it was tossed only when the vinyl atoms could no longer maintain the properties of a solid. Not before.

RIP Mr. Crutchfield- you brought a lot of joy to a lot of juniour high kids.


This is the one I had. Looks like I can relive my youth for $65.

It is a little embarrassing (cringe as the kids would say?) when compared to the “data-keeper” though.


My favorite part of that obit: the guy’s nickname was Crutch.

The Pee Chees tended to get more art modifications…



we had a pretty good Trapper Keeper thread years ago. yes, they (and Pee Chees) were loved:

and they were again brought up (by me) in the 80s graphics thread and remembered fondly by all


We were required by the schools to make brown paper covers for all our school books, which of course then promptly became canvases for doodles, bad forlorn teenage poetry, etc.

I don’t know if this is still a thing kids are required to do?


Same here for parochial school. We cut and folded the covers in a way that they stayed attached to the books.


Exactly! I think in 6th or 7th grade they taught us how to do it on the first day and we were on our own after that.

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Textbooks are rare in the public school systems here. There was a big push under a previous superintendent to eliminate them completely in favor of “online learning environments”. Since his departure some actual books have made it back into the classrooms, but not in the sense that kids are assigned their copy to use for the semester or year. So, little opportunity for that kind of creative interaction with them.

Yah, I think my 12yo nephew’s school is all iPads and Chromebooks now. I’ve never seen him with a book. Oh well. Maybe they make paper wrappers for the iPads. :joy: We had a lot of fun with that. Good times. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Are school supplies once again an anonymous commodity? I don’t have kids so I don’t really have a window in to this, but looking at the school supply sections at places like Target, everything seems rather generic compared to the vast and colorful array of choices from when I was a kid.

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I found it to be an enjoyable activity, always going for a perfect, tight fit.

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I guess you had to be there. I clicked because had never heard of a Trapper Keeper, and couldn’t guess what it might be. Still can’t say that I’ve ever seen/heard of these (Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!) :grinning:

Yes and no?
I don’t see as much style today as what was available in the 80/90’s exactly, but there is a wide selection of products to be had. Also every teacher and school has there favorites of certain items. When I was a kid you had markers, typically Crayola. Now you have the same original 8 pack, but a lot of places want the “washable” ones which are more expensive. Like a lot of things now it’s a sea of cheap garbage that might make it through a school year, high end office products that are good quality but expensive, and a very tiny amount of decent quality products for a reasonable price.

I guess we’re drifting off topic here, but do kids still have to buy geometry sets? In the little metal tin? That was by far my favourite thing. I loved all the technical little tools and pieces in those. I can’t recall a single time we actually used them for geometry though. :joy: Occasionally the ruler would get used to measure something or the compass came out when an excuse to draw a circle could be found. Probably the lowest ROI of any school supply item though. :grin:


Step one - use the point on the compass to pierce patterns all over the metal tin.

There is no step 2.


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