On Chalkboards

My first teaching gig had chalkboards. During the first week of school, a buddy and I went down to HomeDepot and bought $8 showerboard. When no one was looking, we screwed it to the board.

So what is the history of chalkboards?

They were a big deal. Prior to chalkboards, folks used slate tablets. Those were not very efficient for the teacher. And paper really wasn’t an option because it was so expensive.

Credit goes to James Ollans, a geography teacher and headmaster in an old high school in Scotland. Sometime in the early 1800s.

Pretty soon most education establishments and business board rooms were using them. Chalk was cheap and easy (mostly consisting of calcium carbonate). Around the 1950s folks move to the green chalkboards which were steel plates coated with porcelain. And yellow chalk.

The memory of childhood.

In the US, hardly anyone uses chalkboards anymore. With digital “smartboards” and the simplicity of dry erase markers (cleaner), chalkboards are mostly for the nostalgic.



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