Toy Abacus

Toy Abacus

Description
In the 1950s, tools long used to communicate elementary ideas about counting and arithmetic moved from the classroom into the home. The numeral frame, which resembles a Russian abacus, was brought to the United States from Europe in the 1820s, and used in many classrooms to communicate basic arithmetic concepts to groups of students.
By the mid-20th century, numeral frames were sold for use by young children in the home. This brightly painted example has a wooden frame, five metal horizontal cross rods, and a metal support at the back. Each cross rod carries 10 sliding wooden beads. The toy was designed to teach elementary counting, addition, subtraction, and simple fractions. The object is marked: Royal (/) Tot (/) EDUCATIONAL (/) TOY. It also is marked: Box No. 1450. There is a cardboard box. This numeral frame was sold by a pharmacy in Sherman, N.Y., and cost $1.00.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1950s
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 21.5 cm x 33.5 cm x 2.02 cm; 8 7/16 in x 13 3/16 in x 13/16 in
box: 21.8 cm x 35 cm x 2.3 cm; 8 9/16 in x 13 3/4 in x 7/8 in
ID Number
2002.3058.01
catalog number
2002.3058.01
nonaccession number
2002.3058
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Learning Arithmetic
Arithmetic Teaching
Science & Mathematics
Abacus
Data Source
National Museum of American History

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