Victorian School Book Carrier

c. 1880s

The carrier is a wooden handle attached to cloth straps.  By placing the books between the loop of the straps, the handle was then turned , winding the straps tightly against the book and handle.  Any number of books could be carried. A lock mechanism, which might consist of a simple metal tab would flip to latch to secure the books.  To remove the books the handle was unwounded the opposite direction . This type of carrier was used by children from the mid to later Victorian into the early 1900's.



School Desk

c. 1886

American Seating Company was founded as Grand Rapids School Furniture in 1886. The first product made was the cast iron and maple wood student desk and chair unit. It made seats, desks and other educational products for one-room schoolhouses and other university learning environments. Grand Rapids name was changed in 1906 when it merged with eighteen other manufacturers and is still celebrating 131 years of innovation.



McGuffey Reader

c. 1879

William Holmes McGuffey was born September 23, 1800 near Claysville, Pennsylvania and moved to Youngstown, Oho with his family at the age two. Coming to America from Ireland, the McGuffey family brought with them strong opinions on religion and a belief in education. At age 14 young McGuffey became a “roving” teacher to 48 students in a one-room school in Calcutta, Ohio and then in Kentucky. William received his education at the Old Stone Academy in Darlington, Pennsylvania and graduated from Washington College in 1826. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio became his new home when appointed as Professor of Languages that same year. William married Harriet Spinning and they had five children. While teaching at Oxford, William was recommended by longtime friend Harriet Beecher Stowe to a Cincinnati publishing firm to create a series of four graded readers. William compiled the four 1836-1837 series readers and his brother Alexander created the fifth and sixth editions during the 1840s.



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