This Week’s Theme: Old Notebooks from Boorum & Pease

I thought it would be fun to have a whole week of posts about an old brand of notebooks that used to be ubiquitous and now has become almost– but not quite— extinct: Boorum and Pease. They started out as an independent manufacturer of blank books based in Brooklyn, but since then, they’ve been absorbed in a couple of corporate mergers and the name has largely disappeared, except for a few products. Most of the Boorum & Pease notebooks that are available today seem to be larger format ledgers and record books for accounting:

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These are pretty cool for their own reasons, but they aren’t pocket size notebooks for the casual user like Boorum & Pease used to make. This week’s posts will take a look a closer look at a couple of their old-style notebooks, which many notebook enthusiasts are desperately trying to find nowadays!

Stay tuned for some retro notebook goodness, and in the meantime, here’s a few posts where I’ve mentioned this brand before:


Boorum and Pease Engineer’s Field Book, Late 1980s

Notebook Addict of the Week: John Dickerson
John Dickerson's notebooks.
Notebook Trivia: Boorum & Pease Building

5 thoughts on “This Week’s Theme: Old Notebooks from Boorum & Pease”

  1. Thanks for this trip back in Notebook Stories and Boorum & Pease time. I especially liked the “sexy-retro-ugly” characterization of the engineer’s field book. The color is unappealing to say the least, but there’s history and nostalgia surrounding the format and use that makes it super appealing. The closest I get to anything like architecture and engineering is marketing (that’s my day job), but seeing notebooks like that makes me wish my brain led me in that direction. There’s something really romantic about going out and making surveying calculations and drawings manually, and I wish it were something I could do.

  2. I just picked up a big old vintage B&P record book (14 inches tall and 300 pages), almost mint condition. I got it for $3 at Goodwill! I see they are over $100 retail new. I know I am in possession of a sacred object and so would like to know what did people use these record books for (it’s not an accounting record book but a journal format with numbered pages and a contents table.)? I want to be SURE of what I want to use it for before I start messing it up, so to speak. I do that with journals all the time. I start some topic in them and then change. What is the historical use of these journals? Law offices? Doctors? Real estate?? Help!

  3. I inherited a box of antiquarian books and in it is an extremely old Boorum & Pease Co notebook. It says, “Standard, No S29 1/2″ inside. It’s a 3-ring binder and is 4×7”. It looks about 60+ years old as it was in a box with my great grandmothers genealogy books. It’s kind of beat up but is a great nostalgic piece. Would love to share it with someone who would give it the love it needs. Pic available.

  4. I am organizing a 78 RPM record collection that I inherited from my great aunt and my grandmother over 40 years ago. The records were logged in 7″ x 4-12″ binder filled with 6-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ loose leaf 6-hole paper, and is identified as “Boorum & Pease Co. Standard No. S 330 1/2 B Made in USA” (in gold ink or leaf.) Binder material is either black morocco or a very good imitation. The recordings are from a period beginning in the late 1920’s. Anyone familiar with this little binder?

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