Place Value Board

This is a device for introducing elementary school students to the concept of place values. Six parallel wires, each in the shape of an inverted U, fit into holes in a wooden block that serves as a base. Each wire carries nine beads. The beads on the front of the wire represent digits. A tape that runs across the block contains labels for the wires - from one on the rightmost wire to hundreds of thousands on the leftmost. Robert Naidorf (born 1961), the son of the donors, made the object in about 1968. It was used by Marjorie Naidorf, Robert's mother, as a third grade teacher at Parklawn Elementary School from 1971 until 1991. Place value boards are also sold commercially.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Naidorf, Robert
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
tape (overall material)
overall: 15.8 cm x 26 cm x 7 cm; 6 7/32 in x 10 1/4 in x 2 3/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Learning Arithmetic
Arithmetic Teaching
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Learning Arithmetic
Arithmetic Teaching
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Sherman L. and Marjorie A. Naidorf

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