Keeping scrapbooks of celebrities probably started as soon as photographs started appearing in newspapers.
Fans couldn’t afford actual pictures, but they could sure cut out a photo and paste it in a scrapbook.
At first it was photos of their favorite film, sports or theater stars. Later radio and television stars.
Usually these scrapbooks were devoted to one star –Valentino — Tom Mix– Babe Ruth– Gable — Garbo — Garland.
Joe recalls that back in the early 70s, when he and pal Ed Epstein were writing their biography of Marlon Brando (Brando, the Unauthorized Biography), he was lucky enough to find a scrapbook dedicated to the star.
Quoting himself, Joe remembers: I was in a used book store in Greenwich Village and there it was. Someone had been a Brando fan and had compiled articles and photos from his first hit on Broadway through his first 6 or 7 films. It was an unbelievable reference. It would have taken me weeks to track down all those articles.
In most cases scrapbooks of celebrities just contain pictures, not text.
Early movie fans could not only cut photos out of newspapers and magazines, but soon the studios realized the value of the publicity, and offered fans actual signed photos of their favorites.
Sometimes a fan would scrapbook a particular genre of film — Westerns, Adventure films, Serials (such as Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers). (There below is that handsome devil, Buster Crabbe, as Flash with actress Jean Rogers.)
We’re wondering what our readers have to say about scrapbooking the stars. Do they have old scrapbooks stored in the attic?
If so, why not dust ‘em off. We’d love to hear about the contents.