Thursday, March 24, 2011

1867 Arithmetic Textbook

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1974.68.1):

This 1867 edition of the Greenleaf's Common School Arithmetic textbook contains not only mathmatical theory and exercises, but also a preface that is surprisingly inspiring.  Benjamin Greenleaf writes,
        "The examples are of a practical character, and adapted not only to fix in the mind the principles which they involve, but also to interest the pupil, exercise his ingenuity, and inspire a love for mathematical science."

Indeed, some of the problems are very practical in nature:

The preface goes on to say:

Four girls signed the front of the book:  Frances Douglas, Katie Caldwell, Maria Caldwell and Margaret McNeirney.  It's impossible to say whether the students who used this textbook were suitably inspired in their mathematical studies, or whether they had their young minds on other pursuits.  The concluding pages and inside the back cover are covered in short poems expressing school-friend wishes, such as those scrawled in yearbooks today. 

Jennie C. writes:
"Remember me and bear in mind
That a true friend is hard to find,
But when you find one just & true,
Change not the old one for the new."
An unsigned, and rather maudlin verse:
"May the roses of Love
Encircle thy cot
And flourish long after
This friend is forgot."
One more:
"When distant land divide us,
And you no more see me,
Remember it was Eliza that wrote these lines to thee."

1 comment:

  1. I have this edition for sale in much better condition. If interested contact me at