MoMath + Wolfram

Funding for this project generously provided by Overdeck Family Foundation

around 1700–1800

Wood Hornbook with Abacus

Hornbook with an abacus

Cut into the top of this hornbook, an abacus of 12 beads on a leather string has been added. The combination of two educational tools like a pencil and an eraser is not unusual, but in this instance, it is unique.

Wood Hornbook with Abacus

Underneath the translucent horn, the instruction card bears an alphabet, vowels, ligatures and the Lord's Prayer. A ligature is when two or more letters are joined by a single glyph (for example, æ).

Artifact dimensions

28 cm × 18 cm

Artifact origin

United States

Current artifact location

Library of Congress

Catalog number

Z1033.H8 W6 1800z


MathematicsEducation timeline babylonian-scribe-school-multiplication-tablet Rhind Papyrus Slate with Numeral Frame Derby Museum Hornbook North American Hornbook Wood Hornbook with Abacus Maria Agnesi's Analytical Institutions Midshipman's Cyphering Book Samuel Fay's Cyphering Book Lincoln's Cyphering Book Orville Wright's Arithmetic Textbook New York State Regents Exams in Mathematics

Other Resources

Image Credits

Library of Congress