Friday, September 9, 2011

COLLECTION #51: Vintage School Arithmetic Books

When did 'arithmetic' change to 'math'? When I was a child, the word 'arithmetic' struck fear into my heart. As it was for Barbie, math was tough.  I was one of those annoying kids in grade school who got straight A's. That is, until the 4th grade. That's when we started long division, and I began my long, downhill math slide.   I can still remember standing at the blackboard in the 4th grade, looking at a long division problem I was supposed to solve. I just didn't get it!  I can remember several of my classmates looking at my confusion, and teasing, 'What's wrong with you, Stefanie? You used to be so smart!" I was devastated!  That knot of fear still appears in my stomach when I open some of these arithmetic books, and look at page after page of problems: division, fractions.... don't even get me started on algebra or geometry! That's as far as I got in high school.

Here's my collection of vintage elementary arithmetic books. I have 10, and I would love to complete at least one of these series. The Holt, Rinehart & Winston books were the ones we used, so I'm on the lookout for the other ones to complete the series.

Now, these cute little illustrations and problems above aren't too intimidating... these are from the third grade books, which for me,  was not too hard.  (You can click on any of these images for a closer view).

1 comment:

Martin Felsenfeld said...

I saw, some three years later, a collection of math books--I love it!
(Since then, I also began to collect math books similar to yours, but if I'm lucky to send you a photo of my collection, I'll do it.)

I have seven of the 10 books shown in the picture as real original ver-sions. The rest is a long story!