Erin McCarthy takes us through the history of the Trapper Keeper, the brightly-colored binders that made the Mead Corporation $100m a year.
“It was that weird thing where having a knockoff was worse than having nothing at all,” Ryan, now a senior writer at the Huffington Post, says. “Being the new kid, this was strangely devastating.” He would eventually get the real thing—bright red, with red, green, and blue folders. “It didn't make me cool, but at least I felt like I was conforming. Which, at that point, is all I had hoped for.”
You can still buy the real thing, but youngsters won't judge you anymore if you get a copycat.