about pop-ups

basic facts

Pop-up and
Movable Books:
In the Context of History

The Smithsonian Lectures
Washington, DC 2010-11

A Timeline History of
Movable Books

Video History of Harlequinades
from c1650 by Werner Nekes

A History of Paper Devices

Glossary of
Pop-Up Terms

A History of Flip Books

The Bigger the Better (2002)

Anatomical Flap Books
at Duke University

Obituaries-They've laid their scissors down

care and repair

Step Right Up!
Step Right Up!
Removing Marks from books

Here, Kitty, Kitty
Deodorizing a Book

Repair tips from the
Baldwin Library
Univ. of Florida

how pop-ups are made

Making Pop-up Books with
Bruce Foster & Chuck Fischer

past events

Reach back in time to
pop-up events you may have missed.

ha!ha! ha!
pop-up jokes

Pop-up books in cartoons

Stephen Colbert with Maurice Sendak

George Bush on
Global Warming

Pop-ups on misc. topics


Will a pop-up book make it into the Guinness Book of Records?
(YES! The book has been accepted!)

by Ellen G.K. Rubin
(reprinted from Movable Book Stationery, February 2002 Vol.10 No.1)

It took three of us to just open the cover! We were frightened by the weight and delicacy of this special book and somewhat too, by the fact we had climbed over the yellow plastic "Keep Out!" strip which was supposed to protect this unique object from interlopers……like us. Looking furtively over our shoulders, Geraldine Lebowitz, whose exhibition we were visiting, my sister, Rhoda Klein, also a pop-up collector, (same DNA!) and I, the curious and New York-pushy, Ellen G.K. Rubin, proceeded to turn the 2.5 foot by 4 foot pages in order to examine the 6 spreads of this humongous pop-up book.

When Ms. Lebowitz's exhibition, "Pop-up", left Ft. Lauderdale's Bienes Library, it traveled to the Cornell Museum of Art & History/Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida with additional books from the collection of Will Ray. This past January, I visited Rhoda and we went to see the exhibit. As luck would have it-and I am always lucky when it comes to pop-ups-when we arrived, coincidentally, so did Geraldine. I was grateful to meet this serious collector and have her be the docent for her own exhibition.

In a corner of one of the two exhibit rooms, was a make-shift workshop. Here Roger Culbertson, paper engineer and founder of Designimation, had been working to build the world's largest pop-up book, Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Peter de Sève. Based on the Tell Tale Theater series by Running Press (1994), the original 6 spread book was 2 inches by 4 inches with an audio tape included.

According to the Boca Raton/Delray Beach News, (Feb 4, 2002), Joe Gillie, director of Old School Square, had suggested Culbertson make a pop-up book to show museum goers how it's done and, at the same time, establish a world record. International Paper provided oversized sheets of Carolina®C1S Blanks, 24 point. (Sound right, paper engineers out there?) Culbertson worked over 200 hours at the museum and at home. He had almost no margin for error. "The ratio between the cover and gutter space-the gap between the cover board and spine-had to be exact in order for each 2-page layout to open flat." "Because of the weight," Culbertson explained, " I had to make the spine width as narrow as possible." There was only one chance to make it work. Luckily, it did. I suggested to him that pasting on the cover illustration was probably like wallpapering.

Roger is hoping that THE BIG BOOK, as he calls it, will be accepted into the Guinness Book of Records. This would be a first both for pop-ups and paper engineers. The application has already been filed. There are plans to travel with the book to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the wonder of it.

It was at Intervisual in1979 that Culbertson cut his teeth on pop-ups working as a production coordinator. His last job there was to miniaturize the six books in the Pienkowski, Dinner Time series. Roger would agree he has turned the telescope of his life in pop-ups around. I'm sure we all wish him luck with this new endeavor. I'll keep you posted.

[Learn more about Roger Culbertson and his more recent projects for Delray Beach.]

The World's Largest Pop-up Book in the Guiness Book of Records

(Click to enlarge)

The largest pop-up book ever made has just been accepted to The Guiness Book of Records. On August 30, 2002, Roger Culbertson, the paper engineer and moving force behind the construction of Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Peter de Sève, received a letter and certificate (on the left ) congratulating him on his having 'been successful in setting a new Guiness World Record'.

In only six weeks, Culbertson, of Designimation, Inc., designed and built the book based on a 1994 Aesop's Fables. The World's Largest Pop-up Book is 1200% bigger than the original. Totally produced as a project with children at the Cornell Museum of Art & History in Delray Beach, Florida, Culbertson said, "the most rewarding part of creating the book was working on it in front of the children."

Aesop's Fables is made up of six spreads with each spread a pop-up illustration of a different well-known fable. The super-sized book will be used by the Delray Beach Public Library, local after-school programs, and the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.

Ellen G.K. Rubin

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