One of the must have school supplies for students in the eighties was a Trapper Keeper. It was a three ring binder produced by Mead in the late seventies. they featured sliding plastic rings as opposed to snap closed metal rings. The ones I remember all were either solid colors or generic pictures. Everyone started out taking good care of them, only to abandon hope as they cracked along the wrap around flap (I guess you can only open it and close it so many times — plus the loud noise the velcro made was fun in the middle of class). The folders would all eventually rip out as well. Maybe grade school kids were too rough on them, but by high school, I didn’t want one anymore.
They were called Trapper Keepers, because Mead had pocketed folders that they called Trappers. They were the best part about the whole thing. No losing papers out of a dropped folder. Plus, they had “useful” information printed inside the trappers. Not once did I ever need that information, but it was there…just in case.
Picking one of these out every year didn’t have the same excitement as picking out a new backpack or lunchbox, but it was still momentous.