Trapper Keepers from the 80’s: A Blast From the Past

trapper keepers

If you were a child of the 80s, chances are you remember trapper keepers. These colorful binders were all the rage among elementary and middle school students. Trapper keepers came in a variety of colors and designs and were often decorated with popular cartoon characters. Many children took great pride in their trapper keeper collections and would often trade with friends to try and get the most unique binders. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the trapper keeper phenomenon of the 80s.

What made trapper keepers so popular?

There are a few reasons why trapper keepers became so popular in the 80s.

  • First, they were functional and helped students stay organized.
  • Second, they came in various colors and designs, which allowed children to express their styles.
  • And lastly, trapper keepers were often decorated with popular cartoon characters, making them even more appealing to children.

Who created the Trapper Keeper?

The creator of the Trapper Keeper, E. Bryant Crutchfield, actually got the idea for the binder from his wife. She was a teacher and often complained about how her students would lose their papers. Crutchfield saw an opportunity to create a product that would help keep students organized and came up with the idea for the trapper keeper. The first trapper keeper was introduced in 1979 and quickly became a hit with students.

Crutch business plan for Trapper Keepers

Crutchfield’s original business plan for trapper keepers was quite simple. He wanted to create a product to help students stay organized and make learning fun. To market the binders, Crutchfield enlisted the help of some of his friends who were elementary school teachers. The teachers loved the trapper keepers and helped spread the word to their students.

The trapper keeper quickly became a must-have item for elementary and middle school students in the 80s. If you were lucky enough to have one of these binders, then you had the coolest backpack in school.

Here are a few popular styles

80s trapper keeper
Vintage 80’s Mead Trapper Keeper Notebook Clouds Rainbow hearts
80s Vintage Mead Blue Trapper Keeper NOTEBOOK W Trapper PORTFOLIO & Mead Folders
trapper keeper
Vintage Mead 1980s Trapper Keeper Dogs Puppies Green 80s Notebook 3-Ring Binder

Why did they ban Trapper Keepers?

While trappers were extremely popular in the 80s, they eventually fell out of favor with educators. The main reason for this was that students often used trapper keepers as weapons. That’s right, and children would fill their folder with sharp accessories and use them to attack other students. As a result, many schools banned trapper keepers from their classrooms.

Do trapper keepers still exist?

There’s been a resurgence in interest in trapper keeper among adults who grew up in the 80s. This nostalgia has led to creating some new trapper keeper and updated versions of the classic binder. These notebooks are still for sale in many stores such as Walmart; however, they’re not nearly as popular as they once were.

If you’re looking for a blast from the past, check out some of the trapper keeper designs currently available. You might be surprised at how much fun it is to relive your childhood with one of these iconic binders.


Trapper keepers were a big part of many people’s childhoods in the 80s. These binders were functional and came in a variety of colors and designs. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, be sure to check out some of the trapper keeper designs currently available. You might find yourself reliving your childhood all over again.


I am a blogger that was born in the 1980's. So I decided to write about the 1980's because I feel that was one of the best decades ever.

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