Early Flash Cards

Last week I got a nice surprise in the mail from my little sister.

Improved Geographical Cards, Flash Cards, J. W. Freeman, EducationShe found an interesting item that appeals to several of my interests. Geography is of course one of my interests, I like maps and love to travel. The cards also have a lot of History information and of course you know that I like History. Plus they are also an interesting item in the history of educational theory.

The box of this set of Improved Geographical Cards is not in the best shape. In fact you can see that the ‘G’ is missing from the title. The cards are copyright 1883 by J.W. Freeman.

Improved Geographical Cards, J.W. Freeman, 1883, Flash Cards, EducationOf course, this made me wonder when flash cards were first used in education. A quick search found that Favell Lee Mortimor is credited with the first use of flash cards, which were described in her 1834 book Reading Disentangled about the use of phonics.

Of course today flash cards are an integral part of learning. Flash cards are not only for kids, they are also used in Adult Education.

The advertisement above calls them ‘A most instructive and amusing game.’ You may enjoy two posts that I have written about a similar subject:  Authors Card Game and Authors Card Game – Genealogy

San Francisco, 1883, City by the Bay, Flash CardsThere are 200 cards in the set. I have not made an exact count, but I think it may be missing a few.

I thought I would share a few of the cards tonight. You may see some of them used to illustrate future posts.

This one is close to home. It is interesting to see how San Francisco is described in 1883. At that time it was the Largest City on the Pacific Coast in America. It is also interesting that it exported Wheat. I challenge anyone to find a wheat field in San Francisco today.

Peking China, Pekin, Flash Card, Geography, EducationI found this one interesting. First the spelling of Peking is given as only Pekin. It was also interesting that in 1883 Peking had two million inhabitants. As I scanned through the cards it was interesting to see other name changes of both cities and countries.

Jerusalem, Flash Card, Geography Flash Card, Sacred CityI could have used this flash card in my post on Friday of Easter Images. I could also use it when I visit there later this year.

Number three is very important this week as it says that Jerusalem is Where Christ was Crucified. More importantly, it is where Christ was raised from the dead.

Did you notice the population of Jerusalem? Only 25,000 inhabitants in 1883.

Saratoga, New York, Flash Card, Battle of Saratoga, Mineral SpringsI may also use this card in a future post when I write about one of my ancestors who was taken prisoner at the Battle of Saratoga. My ancestor was in Burgoyne’s Army in 1777.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a 132 year old educational aid. Look for additional glimpses in the future.

Do you remember using flash cards to learn something?



This entry was posted in Culture, Education, History and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Early Flash Cards

  1. How fabulous – love the cards! Lucky you to have such a fab sis who ‘gets it’!

  2. Pingback: Random Flash Cards | Braman's Wanderings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s