Progress brings change, but it doesn’t mean the past has to be lost forever. When contractors pulled down old chalkboards in an Oklahoma high school, what they found underneath left everyone speechless. Another, even older set of chalkboards remained underneath, still bearing the chalk markings of an earlier time. The lessons, drawings, and peculiar math instructions had remained untouched, and hidden, since 1917.
Emerson High School in Oklahoma City is the home of this interesting history lesson. The school district ordered the chalkboards be removed to make way for the installation of whiteboards in four separate classrooms. Surely, nobody realized that such a unique treasure would be revealed. A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Public School District is working with the city to figure out how to “preserve the ‘chalk’ work of the teachers that has been captured in time.”
The writings and images left behind from the teachers and students of 1917 include lessons on pilgrims (as prescribed by the mandated curriculum), personal hygiene, and music. Perhaps the strangest of the relics is a wheel that was apparently used to teach multiplication tables. “I have never seen that technique in my life,” principal Sherry Kishore told the Oklahoman.
Images via Oklahoma City Public Schools