What do math and booze have to do with each other?

From the collection of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield M.

I love this page from an 1841 math book.  This book is trying to teach more than math– check out the math problem about the farmers. There were 7 farmers, 3 of whom drank rum and whiskey…

Apparently, rum and whiskey makes you miserable, while water makes you healthy and happy…hmmm…I beg to differ Mr. Emerson.

Many early American textbooks were written by ministers and other social reformers.  So, students got a temperance lesson alongside math.  Oh, those sneaky teachers, slipping in a lesson on morality amidst subtraction!  Can you imagine that in schools today?

Let’s toast those 19th century students!  Cheers!

From the collection of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA

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