School renovations reveal century old blackboard lessons

Sketchings dating from 1917 feature colourful drawings, math tables and history lessons


Workers renovating a school in Oklahoma City recently uncovered blackboards sporting colourful pictures and lessons that have been hidden from view for almost 100 years. The renovation at Emerson High School was being carried out to replace the school’s blackboards with more modern whiteboards when the drawings dating from 1917 were uncovered in four classrooms.

“The penmanship blows me away, totally because you don’t see a lot of that anymore,” Emerson High School principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman newspaper.

“Some of the handwriting in some of these rooms is beautiful,” she said.

The drawings include sketchings of multiplication tables, history lessons and rules on cleanliness and have been perfectly preserved hidden from view for decades.

“During the renovations of this school we found some significant work on these blackboards,” program manager David Todd told newsok.

Mr Todd said the old boards, which were replaced in 1917, were discovered when work was being carried out to install new white boards and smartboards.

“We usually find broken pipes and wires and things we have to work around. This is a pleasant surprise,” he said.

One drawing features a wheel that may have been used to teach multiplication tables.

“I have never seen that technique in my life,” Ms Kishore told the Oklahoman.

A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Public School District said the district is working with the school to preserve the blackboards.