FOUND: Ghostly 100-Year-Old Chalkboard Drawings - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: Ghostly 100-Year-Old Chalkboard Drawings


A detail from one of the drawings (Image: OKCPS Twitter)

Early in December of 1917, D.J. Gerst Co., along with R.J. Scott the custodian of Oklahoma City’s Emerson High School, wrote a message: “We this day give to this room slate blackboards.” They left those messages, along with lessons on music, history, math and cleanliness, on the old chalkboards—which were left installed below the new, slate ones and uncovered for the first time in almost a century last week. 

While working to install modern-day smart boards, workers found lessons from 98 years ago about the early history of America—including drawings of pilgrims and turkeys, presumably left from Thanksgiving-related lessons. A calendar of December 1917 was still on one board; on others, there are brightly colored drawings of children’s and ships. They’re a little bit eerie—lessons written by teachers who are long gone, for children who went off and used this knowledge to live their lives.

A century later, American children are still learning some of the same lessons, but the smart boards that are being installed likely won’t preserve them so effortlessly for future generations to see and remember. 

Bonus finds: Monster shark fossil, a foot-tall morel mushroom, the guitar John Lennon used early in his careerseven new species of spider

Lost: A meteorite worth $16,000 was stolen from a museum in Australia

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.