E. Bryant Crutchfield was a paper company executive who in the early 1980s brought three-ringed order to the chaos of millions of grade school backpacks with a plastic and cardboard triptych he called the Trapper Keeper. The successful inventor of Trapper Keeper was born on February 5, 1937, in Greenville, Ala, a small town south of Montgomery in the United States.
The Inventor of Trapper Keeper, E. Bryant Crutchfield, Dies at age of 85
The inventor of Trapper Keeper, E. Bryant Crutchfield died on Sunday at a hospice center in Marietta, when he was 85. His son, Kenneth, said the cause was bone cancer.
Mr. Crutchfield said in a Mental Floss interview, “When I first went to work, all school products were drab and boring,” Trapper Keepers, he added, were “more functional and more attractive, with oodles of choices therefore fun to have. And I had a lot of fun making them fun.”
Trapper Keeper is essentially a large binder for our folders. Mead, Mr. Crutchfield’s employer, introduced it nationally in 1981, and by the end of the decade, the company estimated that half of all middle and high school students in America had only one.
“We rolled it out, and it was just like a rocket,” Mr. Crutchfield said in a 2017 interview again with the website Mental Floss. “It was one of the biggest things we’d ever done. I saw many kids fight over designs in retail.”
In the year 2007 relaunch of the Trapper Keeper fizzled, as did an attempted comeback in 2014 when the company redesigned it to accommodate tablet devices.
Family members of E. Bryant Crutchfield
E. Bryant Crutchfield’s parents were Ralph and Belle Crutchfield. They worked at the same cotton mill. From here we came to know that his parents were not rich.
Mr. Crutchfield was married to Virginia Crutchfield. They both have two children their daughter, Carol Iyer, and their one son whose name is Kenneth including six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
How much educated is E. Bryant Crutchfield?
E. Bryant Crutchfield completed his school life education at a young age. He was the first person in his family to go to college, graduating with a degree in applied design from Auburn University in 1960.
After his graduation, he moved to Atlanta to work for Montag, a stationery company, which by decade’s end was part of Mead, the giant paper manufacturer based in Dayton, Ohio.
What is Trapper Keeper which was invented by E. Bryant Crutchfield?
The Trapper Keeper was invented in the late 1970s by Bryant Crutchfield, who was Director of New Ventures at the Mead Corporation. The binder got its name because it was sold in the combination with pocket folders designed by Mead called “Trappers”, which were much different from other pocket folders. This design prevented papers from falling out of Trapper’s pockets when it was closed which doesn’t harm the information inside it.
After three years the Trapper Keeper was released, and the design was tweaked to include a Velcro strap instead of the initial metal buckle. This design change allowed for greater ease of use and more efficient manufacturing.
In the 2015 school year, Trapper Keeper introduced Star Wars Trapper Keeper supplies, Hello Kitty Trapper Keeper supplies, and a new patterned line called Fun In The Sun.