School stumbles upon chalkboards from 1917 during renovation, perfectly preserved lessons provide rare look into past.

Off topic but this is too interesting not to share!


Emerson High School in Oklahoma City is in the focus of the news with their interesting and fascinating discovery. The regular renovation and modernisation of the classrooms of this high school uncovered an amazing well-preserved objects. These object give us a chance to see how people in the past have been teaching and studying.

The school purchased modern smart  boards in order to replace the old chalkboards in the classrooms. While the workers were removing the old chalkboard, they uncovered old well-preserved chalkboards. The old ones would have been thrown away if the workers didn’t see the drawings and the writing on the board.  The words and drawing were done nearly a hundred years ago, in 1917. This fascinated everyone.  

The condition of the writing and the drawings are almost perfect. One part shows the calendar, specifically December 1917.

Another part of the boards is featuring a scene of Thanksgiving Day.

The English teacher Cinthea Comer says:

“It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant, it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago… it’s like you’re going into a looking glass into the past.”

Sherry Kishore, the Principal, says that she likes the discovery, not only because of the colours and the well-preserved writing, but also because it shows some very old teaching techniques.

One example of the outdated teaching technique is this wheel of multiplication, which is not used for decades.

Besides that, there is a modification of the Pledge of Allegiance as well.

It says:

“I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all.”

Interestingly, one corner of the board is dedicated to hygiene. Among the things it says “My Rules To Keep Clean” with tips like “Take my bath often” and “Wash my teeth.”

All of these old techniques were seen by the Principal’s mother. This 85-year-old lady recognized some of the techniques and that brought good memories from her childhood. Her daughter says:

“She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like her classroom was when she was going to school.”

Even though these techniques and writings were done in 1917, Kishore’s mother might have still been using the same, some 10 years later.

The school and the city are negotiating and planning to preserve the boards for the future generations.