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Hornbook

HORNBOOK

HORNBOOK, the primer or first reading book used in colonial schools. Long used in England, colonists brought it with themto America. The hornbook was not really a book at all but simply a sheet of paper mounted on a board and covered with transparent horn. The board ended in a handle that a child held while reading. The handle was perforated so that it might be attached to the child's belt. Hornbooks contained the alphabet in capital and small letters, followed by combinations of vowels with consonants to form syllables, the Lord's Prayer, and Roman numerals.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beatty, Barbara. Preschool Education in America: The Culture of Young Children from the Colonial Era to the Present. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995.

Cohen, Sheldon S. A History of Colonial Education, 1607–1776. New York: Wiley, 1974.


Charles GarrettVannest/s. b.

See alsoColonial Society ; Dame School ; Education ; New England Primer .

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hornbook

hornbook, primer of a kind in use from the 15th to the 18th cent. On one side of a sheet of parchment or paper the matter to be learned was written or printed; over the sheet, for its protection, a transparent sheet of horn was placed; and the two were fastened to a thin board, which usually projected to form a handle, perforated so that the hornbook might be attached to a girdle. The matter printed or written included the alphabet in capitals and small letters and other material, varying in different hornbooks, such as numerals and the Lord's Prayer. Sometimes the base and handle were made of metal, stone, or ivory and had letters carved or cast on them.

See A. W. Tuer, History of the Hornbook (2 vol., 1896, repr. 1968).

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Hornbook

HORNBOOK

A primer; a book explaining the basics, fundamentals, or rudiments of any science or branch of knowledge. The phrase hornbook law is a colloquial designation of the rudiments or general principles of law.

A colloquial reference to a series of textbooks that review various fields of law in summary, narrative form, as opposed to casebooks, which are designed as primary teaching tools and include many reprints of court opinions.

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hornbook

hornbook a former teaching aid consisting of a leaf of paper showing the alphabet, and often the ten digits and the Lord's Prayer, mounted on a wooden tablet and protected by a thin plate of horn.

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hornbook

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