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Before the smartphone, before the laptop, before personal computers were standard, there was the Trapper Keeper. The Mead Corporation launched the distinctive three-ring binder with a Velcro closure in 1981 and the rest was pop culture history. Later in the decade, it released designer editions featuring the likes of Garfield. The Trapper Keeper was a massive hit from day one, an essential for kids growing up in the U.S. and Canada of the 1980s. You felt left out if you didn't have one. And adults used them, too.

The success of the Trapper Keeper wasn't an accident—it was designed with the student taking multiple classes in mind. And its key feature, the removable portfolio, was a well-thought-out upgrade to the aging Pee Chee-style folder.

Mentalfloss.com has an amazing and thorough history of the Trapper Keeper, well worth a read for '80s kids and present day designers alike.