+
upworthy
Education

Sadly, the inventor of the Trapper Keeper passed away. Do you remember these iconic '80s folders?

Now, you can relive the '80s for under $11.

trapper keeper, buy trapper keeper, e bryant crutchfield
via Amazon

One of the most iconic Trapper Keeper designs.

E. Bryant Crutchfield died in Marietta, Georgia, on August 21 at the age of 85. His son told The New York Times his cause of death was bone cancer. Crutchfield will forever be known for creating an invention that helped kids in the ’80s and early ’90s show off their personalities while keeping their schoolwork in order.

In 1978, according to a profile by Mental Floss, he invented Gen X’s most iconic back-to-school must-have, the Trapper Keeper.

The Trapper Keeper consisted of two parts. The Trapper, a folder with angled pockets to hold your papers and the Keeper, a notebook that holds multiple Trappers. Together, secured by a strip of Velcro and adorned with a radical graphic on the front, they made up the iconic Trapper Keeper.


The idea for the Trapper Keeper came out of a brainstorming session with Crutchfield’s team where they pondered “How to make a binder like a pet,” “How to get a double purchase” and “How to have a knapsack file drawer.” Incredibly, the Trapper Keeper was the answer to all three questions.

One of the main selling points of the Trapper Keeper was the amazing graphics on the front cover. They allowed students to show off their personalities whether they bought one featuring puppies, a Hawaiian sunset, neon ’80s graphics, horses, animal print or a red Lamborghini.

If you changed your mind after buying one, no problem. The Trapper Keeper’s plastic binding usually broke by the end of the school year so your parents would have to buy you a new one in the fall.

Trapper Keepers lost their popularity in the mid ’90s after the internet meant kids carried fewer pieces of paper. So why are they such an important part of Gen X’s childhood?

“It was fun to be able to show your personality through the binder that you had,” Peter Bartlett, former director of product innovation at ACCO Brands, told Mental Floss. “You don’t really remember a notebook or the pens and pencils you used. But maybe you remember your [Trapper Keeper].”

The great thing is, just in time for back-to-school, you can get a retro Trapper Keeper with awesome ’80s designs delivered the next day (in some cases) from Amazon. They’re a fun back-to-school gift to show the students in your family how cool it was to go to school in the ’80s and ’90s with a Trapper Keeper.

Classic '80s Geometric Shapes 1" Binder was $16.99, now just $10.87

(Next day delivery available through Prime.)

This Trapper Keeper epitomizes everything ’80s. For some reason, the default design in that era was geometrical shapes laid on top of a grid. Kids back then had to be sure to write their name in this particular design because everyone had it.

Order yours now >>

Classic '80s Animal Print 1" Binder was $16.99, now just $10.87

(Next-day delivery available through Prime.)

Ever wanted to carry a Trapper Keeper to school that looks like it was modeled after David Lee Roth from Van Halen’s tights? This is for you, my gnarly friend.

Order yours now >>

Classic '80s Palm Trees at Sunset 1" Binder was $16.99, now just $13.75

(Next-day delivery available through Prime.)

This Trapper Keeper features a graphic that perfectly encapsulates the ’80s dream. It’s what you see after you spent all day in a halfpipe or just got out of the water after a long day of surfing.

Order yours now >>

Classic '80s Laser Beam Sunset 1" Binder 24.59

This Trapper Keeper puts one in the mindset of the average person in 1984. Yes, they had their sights on a beautiful sunset. But they were also completely consumed by laser beams, neon and geometric grids.

Order yours now >>

Classic '80s Funky-Looking 1" Binder $10.90

This Trapper Keeper may be retro, but it's clear that even in 1982 this wasn’t cool. Yes, it has checker print, which was always radical. However, the streak of Andy Warhol pink mixed with the clown-dog prints is a little extreme even for an era defined by excess.

Order yours now >>

Upworthy may earn a portion of proceeds from the sales of these items

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

America’s leading happiness expert shares his most important advice to be a happier person

Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey have continued their quest for greater happiness with the “Build the Life You Want” podcast.

Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah Winfrey and their book, ""Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier."

A recent YouGov poll found that most Americans are at least somewhat happy. Twenty-one percent said they are "very happy," 55% are "fairly happy," 18% are "not too happy" and 5% are "not happy” at all.

Those numbers aren’t too bad, but they can always be better. So Upworthy’s Craig Jablin sat down with one of America's foremost experts on happiness, Arthur C. Brooks, to discuss the misconceptions surrounding happiness and the lifestyle choices that can help us live happier lives.

Brooks is an academic, public speaker and author of 13 books, including the 2023 #1 New York Times bestseller, "Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier," with co-author Oprah Winfrey.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Breastfeeding mom's touching encounter with an orangutan has people swooning—and debating

"She sat with me for approximately half an hour, kept stroking the glass and lay down next to me as if to support and protect me."

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less

Dad's sweet moment with daughter turned into a roasting session

Have kids, they said. It'll be great, they said. Well, one dad may have a bone to pick with those mysterious "they," in that colloquial saying. A man running the Instagram account Havea_676, posted a video that has parents on the internet not only laughing at his tender moment turned embarrassing, but sharing their own savage kid moments.

The dad was having a sweet moment with his daughter asking her about her day and what she was excited about for the next day before tucking her into bed. Things appeared to be going well and his daughter who is off camera can be heard answering all of the questions. But at some point during the father daughter moment, the little girl was over the many questions the man was asking.

"Daddy, can you please stop with your questions, I'm trying to sleep and also your breath stinks," the litter girl reveals.

Keep ReadingShow less
Wikipedia/Alison Martinof SimonCowellOnline.com/Wikipedia

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is just one of those perfect songs

Some songs remain profoundly moving no matter how they are reimagined. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” though of course nobody sings it quite like Judy Garland, arguably could be considered one of those songs.

Several artists have indeed put their own wonderful spin on the tune over the years—Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, to name a few.

And now, we can add singer Loren Allred to that impressive list.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Werner Herzog motivational posters are the best thing on the internet

The director with a cult following gets a tribute fit for guidance counselor office walls.

Werner Herzog inspirational art, FRIENDSHIP.

Looking for a little inspiration this afternoon, but don't actually want to be uplifted?

Well, then get a boost from the solemn Teutonic prose of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog via the genius Tumblr project Herzog Inspirationals.

Keep ReadingShow less