Apart from the occasional scrawl on the blackboard I never had to write on a “slate” at school, but one knows that millions of predecessors did. For me there’s an old world charm in the design of this slate book from Thomas Nelson: things were still being designed to look a bit like this when I was a child. It’s not really slate on the inside; just a tough coated paper manufactured to take chalk and allow it to be erased again and again.

These images come from Jeff Peachey’s blog.

I’m not sure exactly when slates stopped being used in schools. Mrs Brewer’s Parlour implies that that would be in the early 20th century, but I bet it was much later.