Feeling nostalgic for chalkboards and VHS tapes? Peruse our list of 9 school supplies of yesteryear
You won't see this stuff in classrooms nowadays
Roxanna Swift | WCPO Contributor
5:30 AM, Aug 16, 2016
12:03 PM, Aug 16, 2016
CINCINNATI -- Times are changing in school buildings all across the globe -- and all across the Tri-State.
Gone are the library card catalogs and chalkboards of yesteryear. Nowadays, schools are all about interactive white boards and Google Classroom, and kids are all about Twitter and Instagram.
Nostalgic for the school technology of yesteryear? We've compiled a brief list to take you back to a simpler time.
1. Film projectors
Long before DVDs and streaming videos, movies were viewed in schools on film projectors. Anyone who watched a movie in school between the latter half of the 1920s through the 1970s viewed it on a film projector.
They were largely replaced by VCRs (videocassette recorders) in the 1980s.
2. Overhead projectors
The overhead projector, or viewgraph, was created in the 1870s by French inventor Jules Duboscq. The machine, which projects light from a slide onto a viewing screen, was used by the U.S. military to train servicemen in the 1940s before gaining popularity in schools in the '50s. Teachers continued using them through the '90s to display notes and other documents.
3. Library card catalogs
Before computers were omnipresent, library materials didn’t have barcodes to conveniently scan upon checkout. Instead, students had to search among cards in alphabetized drawers to determine if the library had a copy of a given book, then track it down. To check a book out, they had to bring it to a librarian at a desk, who would use a rubber stamp and ink to mark the due date on a card in the back of the book. Card catalogs were replaced by online public access catalogs (OPAC) in the early 2000s.
Also called blackboards -- although later versions were green -- chalkboards are reusable writing surfaces made of slate stone. After at least 200 years of use in education, they were phased out in the early 2000s and replaced by dry erase white boards.
5. Pencil sharpeners
As school assignments in many areas transition to computer-based work, students are writing less. Thus, pencil sharpeners are becoming a less common sight. The hand-cranked pencil sharpeners that once were mounted on classroom walls are virtually obsolete in schools today.
6. VCRs and VHS tapes
VHS (video home system) tapes and VCRs replaced film projectors in schools in the '80s. In the '90s, televisions and VCRs often were shared resources and, much like today’s laptop carts, they had to be brought to classrooms on wheeled carts to view movies.
DVD players replaced VCRs to some extent, but movies and other media are now typically streamed on digital devices or on interactive white boards.
Prior to the year 2000, students couldn’t Google their questions. When doing research for an essay, they instead would delve into the topic in the pages of reference books, like encyclopedias. Although information can now be found by typing keywords into a search engine, various encyclopedias are available for reference online as well.
The mimeograph, or spirit duplicator, was a duplicating machine that used ink and stencil to reproduce images. The machine, which was invented in 1886, was popular in schools between the '50s and '70s.
9. Paper/spiral notebooks
Paper isn’t totally obsolete in schools, but with education becoming more computer-based and many schools transitioning to a one-to-one technology-to-student ratio, it’s used significantly less than in the past. Many students and teachers now exchange assignments, notifications and other communications online through platforms like Google Classroom.