Like many things in life, we owe scrapbooking to the Ancient Greeks. Great thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates liked nothing better after a hard day's thinking than to dive into their stash and knock up a couple of 12 x 12 layouts whilst tucking into a plate of feta and black olives.
In those days, few people travelled outside the country so 'Greece' layouts became instantly popular. In fact, for some, they remain so today.
With no digital photography available - nor any other kind for that matter - sketches were used as the central focus of these layouts. In fact the Doodling pens of today are a throwback to these halcyon days of pre-photography scrapbooking.
The authorities in Athens were keen to encourage this hobby among the populace as it gave them less time to smash crockery and indulge in embarrassing dance routines. In fact a special Palace was constructed for the specific purpose of enabling Athenians to enjoy scrapbooking. This venue was very well attended.
Aside from the hitherto mentioned great thinkers of the time, the majority of people attending these crops were mothers of young children. The children themselves were banned from the Palace after Socrates complained that he couldn't hear himself think.
On a celebrated occasion, someone at the crop misplaced the Ancient Greek equivalent of the Sissix machine. The croppers, all waiting to use the machine to add journaling to their 'My Holiday in Greece' layouts, were frantic with worry. Suddenly, as history would have us believe, Archimedes burst into the Palace yelling 'Eureka!' ('I've found it!'). Sure enough, someone had nearly thrown the device out in a large box of offcuts.
Every four years the Ancient Greeks would be thrilled by the news that Athens had again been chosen to host the Olympics, and so the merchants of Greece - never slow to seize an opportunity - began feverish production of Athletics embellishments. Once the two weeks of world class sport were over, the Athletics rub-ons and stick-ons (in those days 'hold-ons' and 'lean-ons') would sadly disappear from the market stalls, and 'Greece' layouts would once again be in the ascendancy. The Athenian scrappers would be left only with their sporting memories and of course their 12 x 12 Athletics layouts. On one notable occasion, when a top Greek sprinter failed an 'Ouzo test', such was the national shame that all sport-related layouts were banned at the Palace.
The original Palace where these Ancient Greek scrappers met still stands today. The 'Crop Palace' - known more often these days as the 'Acropolis' - has become a top tourist attraction and a solemn pilgrimage for scrapbookers from all rounded corners of the world. How many of our crop and scrap clubs will still be standing in 2000 years? Now that's a thought.
A very comprehensive History of Scrapbooking article I found seems to agree that the Ancient Greeks were indeed pioneers.