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   Undertoad  Sunday Jun 7 09:38 AM

June 7, 2015: Blackboards from 1917



Oklahoma City, December, 1917. Emerson High School's custodian, R. J. Scott, has taken delivery of brand-new slate blackboards to replace the old ones that are not in good condition. He writes on each room's old board that today is the day the new ones are going to be installed.

It's a pretty big deal.

But R.J. got lazy, faced with several rooms to work on over a week's time; and he decided to just mount the new boards right over the old boards.

And two days ago workers came to remove the chalkboards altogether; they're installing network cables in this building that was built in 1895 and has been the High School since then.

And when they removed the first layer of slate, they found those old blackboards from 1917, with the lessons still on them.









Over the years we teach kids how to do math in radically different ways. But here's your challenge: WTF is this? How does it work?







WaPo story



DanaC  Sunday Jun 7 10:46 AM

What a wonderful find! The lessons/boards seem surprisingly modern in tone



Griff  Sunday Jun 7 12:35 PM

Nothing is ever new in education. Recycling at its best. I'm still trying to work out that math thing. Some kind of times table system...



Clodfobble  Sunday Jun 7 01:13 PM

I figured it was a puzzle of some type--cross multiply, or scratch out all the factors of whatever in order to reveal which numbers are left... If nothing else, there are no zeroes anywhere on it, so it can't be a stand alone system for anything.



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 7 01:22 PM

It is a mighty fine circle though.



lumberjim  Monday Jun 8 09:56 AM

I doubt he got lazy. I think he probably left the boards as is on purpose, like a time capsule



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 8 10:59 AM

Agree, not lazy. Why bother to take the old ones down, they weren't worth anything, couldn't be reused, and provided a flat stable surface for the new boards.



Diaphone Jim  Monday Jun 8 12:34 PM

I'd say they got their money's worth from the slate boards.
But now no more sending the unruly out to beat erasers or using your fingernails to impress the girls.

The circle is a multiplication assignment with random numbers around the edge to match up with the ones in the middle.
I used one similar with my granddaughter to avoid the regimentation of the standard grid and introduce the randomness of actual use.
Something is to be learned in every pic.
The subjects covered were the end of Thanksgiving themes with a turkey and an unlikely African-American Pilgrim girl.
You can see the blobs of adhesive that Mr. Scott used to install the new boards as well as what might be the 1917 version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Great IOTD



Lamplighter  Monday Jun 8 01:04 PM

Nice analysis, DJ

I'm wondering if the hexagons above your multiplication circle are "shields of David" indicating a Jewish presence.

That is, there is a mention of the Dutch and moving to the Netherlands...
And wikipedia says the following:

Quote:
Most history of the Jews in the Netherlands was generated between the end of the 16th century and World War II.
The area now known as the Netherlands was once part of the Spanish Empire but in 1581, the northern Dutch provinces declared independence. A principal motive was a wish to practice Protestant Christianity, then forbidden under Spanish rule, and so religious tolerance was effectively an important constitutional element of the newly independent state. This inevitably attracted the attention of Jews who were religiously oppressed in many parts of the world.



Undertoad  Monday Jun 8 01:19 PM

I like fonts, so... the cursive is identical to the cursive I was taught, how about you?

The non-cursive seen in the second-to-last image... is more difficult than "standard" alphabet, but probably matches what would have been the movable type fonts of the time. Someone copied that directly out of a book, including the serifs and what-not.

The curlie-ques on the numbers on the multiplication teaching tool are cute.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 8 02:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
Nice analysis, DJ

I'm wondering if the hexagons above your multiplication circle are "shields of David" indicating a Jewish presence.

That is, there is a mention of the Dutch and moving to the Netherlands...
And wikipedia says the following:
The Pilgrims went to Amsterdam to break with the Church of England, but after ten years they worried their children were becoming too Dutch, so they went back to England with the intention of sailing to New York. Absolutely nothing to do with Jews.
Shields of David? No, they're stars, something teachers have used since the invention of blackboards. I had teachers use them all through school. Do you think the Jewish kids had to wear armbands too?


Lamplighter  Monday Jun 8 03:05 PM

Quote:
...Shields of David? No, they're stars, something teachers have used since the invention of blackboards.
...
Stars !!! Look closer...
Stars always have and have had 5 points, not 6

Geez, some people still believe Pluto is a planet


lumberjim  Monday Jun 8 05:26 PM

well, they're certainly not hexagons



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 8 06:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
Stars !!! Look closer...
Stars always have and have had 5 points, not 6
Wrong... again.


Undertoad  Monday Jun 8 06:55 PM

The symbol is more commonly known as the Star of David than as the Shield of David.



Sundae  Tuesday Jun 9 08:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
It is a mighty fine circle though.
Did board compasses go out of fashion between 1917 and when you were at school?


Clodfobble  Tuesday Jun 9 08:57 AM

I can imagine what one is, but I never saw a teacher use one during my school career... I did have several teachers that used five evenly-spaced chalk holders for drawing musical staff lines, though.



glatt  Tuesday Jun 9 09:15 AM

My H.S. geometry teacher used a board compass all the time.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jun 9 11:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
I can imagine what one is, but I never saw a teacher use one during my school career... I did have several teachers that used five evenly-spaced chalk holders for drawing musical staff lines, though.
Same here.


Lamplighter  Tuesday Jun 9 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
The Pilgrims went to Amsterdam to break with the Church of England, but after ten years they worried their children were becoming too Dutch, so they went back to England with the intention of sailing to New York. <snip>
NOTE: No wheel caps were stolen during this google-cize…

My original thought related to a “Jewish presence” in Emerson High School in 1917,
so I looked for locations and histories of synagogues in Oklahoma City

Emanuel Synagogue located at Reno and Dewey streets
was “…at the center of the city’s Jewish community…” in 1917

Attachment 52005


Temple B’Nai Isreal membership was located at 50 N Broadway Circle was
“by 1925 … over 160 families…overcrowded”

Attachment 52006

Both synagogues were within 15 minutes walking time of Emerson High School.

Attachment 52007
[Google Map search for Emerson High School points to Emerson Middle School]

Coincidences ??? Sure, but not impossible


Undertoad  Tuesday Jun 9 01:12 PM

Good work and this is how we learn when we quibble.

I had almost posted "Surely there were no Jews in Oklahoma City in 1917...!" but there they were.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jun 9 01:40 PM

There were Jews in the colonies, a Philadelphia Jew financed the American revolution, there were Jews in all the states, So what? Show me where they counted them, pointed them out, and tallied them on the school blackboard, in any American public school... ever. The notion is preposterous.



Sundae  Tuesday Jun 9 05:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
My H.S. geometry teacher used a board compass all the time.
/\ This was my experience. /\

In fact the board monitor for the week, who usually only got to use the eraser (although spanking it outside was fun) and check there was enough chalk available, was always highly gratified if called up to prepare a chalk circle during a lesson.

I remember being sick with jealousy when we started to learn about Venn diagrams after I was board monitor. I never forgave Mirella C for that. Well, okay, I did. But it rankled for a long time.


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 22 10:51 PM

Future




glatt  Tuesday Jun 23 08:14 AM

Awesome.



Gravdigr  Tuesday Jun 23 04:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
(although spanking it outside was fun)
Spanking it outside is still fun.




Sundae  Tuesday Jun 23 05:23 PM

What about paddlin'?



BigV  Tuesday Jun 23 11:48 PM

Need you ask??!!



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