Frontier Schools

Frontier books were not plentiful to those who did not have money to purchase them. Richard M. Hoe's invention of the first steam-powered printing press in 1843 did however lessen the price and make the production faster. Formal schooling was not required by law. Many younger people had to work on the farms instead of attending school. In many families, the mother or older female children home-schooled the family. Often, a simple chalkboard and chalk were used as slates. Ink was stored in glass wells for use with quills. No successful "ink pen" was developed until the 1900's. Ink would either leak or clog in the pen. As of the late 18th century, thin sticks of graphite were also used as writing instruments. Paper was made of scrap cotton and linen; not until the late 18th century was tree wood used for paper.

Females did not often get the chance to attend formal schools or universities, as their domestic/family chores were expected to be their top concern. Formal schooling was considered to be mostly for males. Books were valued as great sources of information and prized possessions, unlike today in the modern high-tech world when we often take them for granted.

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