Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mark Twain's Adhesive Scrapbook in Our Treasure Chest

Samuel L. Clemens, more commonly known as Mark Twain, was a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks – more than 300 of them!  He took them everywhere and filled them with souvenirs, pictures, and articles about his books and performances.  But in time, he grew tired of the lost glue, rock-hard paste, and the swearing that resulted from the standard scrapbook process.  So, he came up with the idea of printing thin strips of glue on the pages to make updates neat and easy to do.  Once the pages were wet, clippings and scraps could be easily attached.  In 1872, he patented his "self-pasting" scrapbook, and the "Mark Twain Adhesive Scrap Book" proved to be Clemens' only profitable patent, which provided a modest but steady income.

Our family treasure chest holds one such scrapbook - tattered, missing pages, broken spine - yet a few souvenirs from its former owner are still tucked in its decaying pages.
Alice Parker Murphey’s
Mark Twain Adhesive Scrapbook

Inspired by his invention, go to view Mark Twain’s Interactive Scrapbook and view his life story through the collection of texts, photos, and clippings from his day.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved


  1. What a treasure! I hope Alice Parker Murphey is one of your ancestors. Thanks also for the link to Mark Twain's scrapbook. I'll go take a look.

    Your blog is very beautiful. I love your background, birds, nests, and flowers. Lovely!

  2. Thanks Nancy! Glad you enjoyed it.

    Yes, Alice Parker Murphey is my husband's maternal great grandmother.

  3. I enjoyed reading this post. The interactive scrapbook looks really cool. I hadn't realized that Twain was an inventor.

  4. Thanks Sheryl, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I did not realize that Twain was such a scrapbook junkie until I researched the label in our little scrapbook....They say you learn something new every day!