Flash Cards - Maxson's Self-Keyed Fundamental Number Work Self Keyed Set. No. 10

In the early twentieth century, progressive educators sought more efficient ways to teach arithmetic. Some used flash cards. This is set of flash cards for arithmetic drill. Each of the sixty numbered cards has eight multiplication problems written on it. The first six problems on each card concern multiplying two 3-digit numbers; the last two show the product of a three-digit and a four-digit number. This is the tenth in a group of 13 drill sets intended for students in grades three through eight. It was designed for fifth graders.
The cards fit in a cardboard box along with two leaflets. The first lists the drill sets for each grade, and describes checking procedures for students and teachers. The second describes which cards were to be used which day of the week for how long in various grades.
According to the box, the cards were “A systematic, economical and thorough arrangement of numbers for acquiring accuracy and rapidity in the fundamental operations.” This set sold for sixty cents and was distributed by J. L. Hammett Company of Newark, N. J. and Cambridge, Ma. One leaflet has copyright date 1915, the other 1934. William Silas Maxson (1867-1937) worked as principal of schools in Somerset, Ky.; Chicago, Ill.; and the following towns in New York: Alfred, Yonkers, Sackets Harbor and White Plains. He retired in 1926 from a White Plains elementary school. A 1917 textbook mentions the cards.
Louis W, Rapeer, ed., Teaching Elementary School Subjects, New York: Scribners, 1917, pp. 26, 31.
]New York Times, August 19, 1937, p. 20.
Currently not on view
Object Name
flash cards
date made
Hammett Company, J. L.
Physical Description
paper (cards material)
cardboard (box material)
overall: 4 1/4 in x 2 3/8 in x 1 1/4 in; 10.795 cm x 6.0325 cm x 3.175 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newark
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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