Learning Curve

1801: Chalk Board.

Marketplace Contributor May 13, 2014

Using chalk and tablets dates back centuries, but the idea of the blackboard goes back to the late 1700s, when actual wood was painted black and used with chalk. 

The modern slate version of the blackboard appeared in the early 1800s in Scotland. The historian Stephen Ambrose claims that a blackboard was used at West Point by an instructor in 1801.

As blackboards became more popular by the mid-18th century, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia cashed in on their slate deposits.  Now, it’s all about the white board.  But blackboards haven’t disappeared. T hey’re still a fixture in many classrooms.

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