The classrooms of the Thirties and Forties

Our school in the 30’s was very different from today’s classrooms.  Each child had a desk attached to a chair.  The top of the desk would lift up to a storage drawer in which we kept our own supplies such as books, pencils, paste, scissors, paint box, etc.  On top there was a groove to hold our pencil or pen.  In the top right hand corner was a round hole in which our inkwell was placed.  Remember that in the ‘30’s and 40’s ball point pens had not been invented.  So to learn to write with ink, we had a stick like a pencil with a small pointed piece of metal on one end.  We dipped that point into the inkwell and then started writing.  Fountain pens came into being in the ‘40’s.  They had a similar point, but had a system to suck up a bit of ink into the pen so you could write longer than with the kind you had to dip.  At Christmas 1952 I sent a present of a beautiful maroon colored fountain pen along with a picture of me to Jim. The pen was for his use in seminary.  Ball point pens came out sometime in the early 1950s.

The black boards in our school were really black, not like the white boards that are so prevalent in today’s schools and churches. The board needed to be cleaned every day after school hours. It is interesting to note that some teachers used cleaning the black board as a punishment while others used it as reward. To clean the board the erasers needed to be de-chalked and this was usually accomplished by banging them together. We’d get a wet rag, I don’t think we had sponges back then, and clean the board. I did clean the black boards when I had teachers who used the job as a reward.

In school we never had to buy school supplies.  At that time the state of California and the San Diego School system provided everything we needed.  Sometimes we had new books and sometimes ones that had been used by former classes.  All books were turned in at the end of the year for use the following year.  In kindergarten we had big fat pencils with big lead but after that we used regular yellow pencils that are still around.

Next week I’ll  talk about our new San Diego house in the forties.


About Bertie

Retired and luvin' it.
This entry was posted in Geneology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The classrooms of the Thirties and Forties

  1. Susan says:

    Nice article. :o)

  2. Josie says:

    I went with Nick to school a couple of days last week.  They have a new version of the white board.  They use a huge computer white board/computer screen the size ofthe old white sheets they used for projectors.  They use a computerized pen that writes.  They also have an overhead that shows the actual paper (no more see through sheets) and their hand as they write.  Technology!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s