Friday, February 19, 2010
As I attended through all of my grade school years, we sat in wooden desks that had a hole manufactured in them for the purpose of holding some device for ink. Not once did I ever dream that there were actually a real inkwell that fit into those holes. I assumed that they would have been the glass bottles of ink that fit into them and students would have to dip their quill pen into the bottle. Every student who ever attended school in the building had taken a pencil and followed around the inside indention making marks inside of that opening.
After college, in Aplington, Iowa, I was rummaging through a century of old boxes and paper bags in a workroom of a store. There were old hinges and furniture drawer pulls and things like that. One time I found a small unopened wooden box in the back of that old furniture store. It was the second generation person, my son's grandfather, who owned the store. The box had been shipped to the store when the great grandfather was alive and was running the business. Inside of the wooden box, which was nailed shut for shipping, six of these ink wells, packed in sawdust. They had already started to rust even though they had not been taken out of the box. The glass liners, ink containers, were packed along side of the metal outside pieces and a couple of them were broken.
It took a little time to figure out what they were but then I thought that the school's probably ordered their school desks through furniture store's back then as there wasn't any special stores that sold just school things. I do know in the past that the business had ordered caskets for the local funeral home of the time.
I have an old school desk from an old country school that they fit in, but it is now stored in the basement, and the boys were never too impressed with the desk anyway. They thought the bench seat was uncomfortable to sit on, and they were right. I sat on ones like that from 1955 to 1964 until I moved up to high school.
The glass bottle is an old ink container but I don't know much about it. It never had a lid and was found at a rummage sale when I was a kid.
Thanks for reading......