Friday, February 10, 2012

School Days

Kemp's Ford Schoolhouse ca. 1860

Pretend the year is 1850 and you are 10 years old. Here are some word problems for your arithmetic assignment.  Turn in your answers in the comment section below.  Punishment for not doing your assignment will be swift. Remember. spare the rod and spoil the child.

(I had a dream the other night that in the future, folks would have a MACHINE that would calculate their arithmetic for them. To not use one's own brain for this assignment would be shame.)

1. The Pyramids of Egypt were built 337 years before the founding of Carthage; Carthage was founded 49 years before the destruction of Troy; Troy was destroyed 431 years before Rome was founded; Carthage was destroyed 607 years after the founding of Rome, and 146 before the Christian era.  How many years before Christ were the pyramids built?

2. A certain farmer raised 188 bushels of barley, twice as many bushels of wheat, 320 bushels of corn, and 100 of rye, how many bushels of grain did he raise in the whole?

3. If an orchard contains forty rows of trees, and each row has 10 trees, how many trees are in the orchard, and if each tree produces on an average 9 bushels of apples, how many bushels of apples will the farmer have? and if he sells those apples at 40 cents per bushel, how much will it amount to?

4. If a boy be capable of earning 50 cents per day, and idles six days, what will be his loss?

5. How many legs, horns, eyes, and tails, have 100 cows, 18 of which are muleys?

(The above arithmetic problems are taken from actual 19th century schoolbooks.)

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 


  1. It's too early in the day for so much thinking!

    1. Now you do know, Miss Leslie, that "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!" ;)

  2. Thanks for posting the picture of the Kemp's Ford School. Some of my Smith and Brown ancestors in the Union Hall area attended this school. Wasn't it also called the Brown School?

    1. You are welcome, Becky! Yes, it was also called the Brown School. It seems like it was also referred to by another name too, but I can't recall what it was at the moment.


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