Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Last weekend’s Newfane Fest was a big hit, and thanks go out to all the organizers and volunteers who helped out. I got to chat with many Newfane readers from my spot under one of the tents. Thanks for stopping by to say hello.
Trivia this week takes on some historical facts about school supplies. In colonial America, paper was scarce and children heading back to school would each carry a slate board and slate pencil to the classroom. The slate board was a thin flat layer of shale rock in a narrow wooden frame. The slate pencil, used like chalk today, was a long slender piece of shale.
Many children also carried what was known as a hornbook. Primary hornbooks contained the ABCs, frequent letter combinations and the Lord’s Prayer. This information was then written on a sheet of parchment, placed on a piece of wood and covered with a slim, transparent layer of cow’s horn for protection.
Scissors were found in crude forms as far back as 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt and improvements, such as the production of shear steel in the 1740s by Benjamin Huntsman, have made scissors a staple.
Paper was invented by the Chinese around 105 A.D.
Crayons, in eight basic colors, came on the scene in 1903, and continue to be a staple on supply lists.
The ballpoint pen was patented by Lazlo and George Biro in 1938, and a plastic binder to hold looseleaf paper was the brainchild of R.M.L. Douvry in 1933.
It took until 1968 for Yukihiro Yoshida to bring the pocket calculator to students.
The Glue Stick was invented in 1969, to replace messy glue in bottles.
Newfane’s First Baptist Church is collecting school supplies for distribution to families who cannot afford them. There is a big need for binders, paper, pencils, pens, pencil pouches and the like. If you can help, call Denise Noble at (585) 205-6928.