Having celebrated over 75 years of Scull-Craft Calendars, we have lots to look back upon, and lots more to look forward to. Come to think of it, this aptly describes the reason the calendar business got started in the first place.
History of the Scull-Craft Calendar from Priscilla Scull Burnham, Granddaughter of the founder:
“My Grandfather, David Elam Scull, and my Grandmother, Mary Scull, first created the model for the calendars back in 1928; she used them to help keep track of family events and ‘doings,’ appointments and important dates; he reproduced them by hand as Christmas presents for friends and relatives during the Depression.
In 1934, my Grandmother came up with the notion of printing and selling the ‘engagement’ calendars they had been giving away, as a way to supplement the family’s income. My father, David Hutchinson Scull, helped keep the fledgling enterprise going from the company’s headquarters: his parents’ kitchen table in Takoma Park, Maryland. The first customers were women’s groups and churches, who used them as fund-raisers.
The particular format of the calendar my grandparents designed proved to be a classic: the calendars made it easy to see at a glance what was coming up in the future, as well as maintaining a permanent record of what had taken place in the past. It could hang by the telephone or sit on a desk; it could be stored in a bookcase or file cabinet for future reference or as an historical journal. Production was labor-intensive back then, but also visionary: the calendars were made on paper that took—and saved—ink pen or penciled notations and was environmentally friendly because it was not coated paper as many calendars were, and still are.
Today, we use recycled as well as the non-coated paper. We don’t make them by hand anymore but rely on the wonderful technology of digitally-captured images and modern printing technologies. We have added Earth Day, daylight savings time, United Nations Day and Martin Luther King’s birthday to the holidays we mark each year.
But despite some minor changes, the basic Scull-Craft Calendar looks pretty much the same as when it was first hand-drawn by my Grandparents. The qualities that made it so popular back then have been preserved, pretty much unchanged. And that’s why the calendars are still successful and sought after, almost seventy-five years later. They are simple, easy to use, and don’t require batteries, or a nimble thumb, or a magnifying glass.
We have received wonderful feedback from customers over the years, with comments about what they like about the calendars, how long they have kept them, and the creative uses they have found for them: keeping track of the kids’ activities and social obligations (one customer color-codes the activities for each child) or family medical histories; recording planting and blooming dates in the garden from year to year; as a journal of trips taken, birds seen, or memorable golf courses played (although some of us would rather not remember the scores!); noting people they have met and organizations they have belonged to. The calendars become a virtual written diary of our lives and our passions, a repository of our daily comings and goings, as well as a way to organize our busy lives. Like photographs, they prod our memories. But unlike photographs, calendars also tell us where we have to be next Wednesday.
And so here we are, having come full circle, in more ways than we care to consider: the economy reminds us that unlimited growth has a down side; the importance of protecting our natural resources and limiting our impact on the earth has never been more critical; our desire to stay connected to one another, to our past, to our far-flung families, to the things that are important in our lives, has never been stronger in this age of Twitter, Blackberries, and digital photographs; and our need to organize our busy lives, keep track of dates and events and obligations, and remember our family’s comings and goings, becomes even more necessary as our lives get more, not less, complicated.”
In 2016, Allison Leet acquired the Scull-Craft calendar business after it was announced that Lou and Priscilla had decided to retire from the business and asked for interested parties to contact them. Allison moved the business to upstate New York. With the assistance of her husband, Joel Sherman and their family they are committed to maintain the integrity of the calendar and honor its tradition.
We would love to hear from you, which is the best source of feedback, about all the ways in which you have put the calendars to good use, and any ideas you might have for reaching out to new groups or individuals or purveyors of our calendars. We would like your help, your advice and your support in this area too.
Thank you for all of the years of allowing Scull-Craft Calendars to be a part of your life. We look forward to serving your needs for a long time to come.