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Book, Ray's Test Examples: Three Thousand Test Examples in Arithmetic

Book, Ray's Test Examples: Three Thousand Test Examples in Arithmetic

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This book is dated 1862, but it was first published at least as early as 1858. It may have been prepared by Joseph Ray before his death in 1855. Test Examples was to be an accompaniment to the third volume of Ray's arithmetic textbooks. The content is evenly balanced between computations and story problems. Despite the historical interpretation of Ray as playing a role in education similar to William McGuffey's, these exercises do not appear to impart moral lessons. Nonetheless, there are some subjects of interest in the story problems, from the mixture of medicines-including morphine-on page 41 to determining the price of beer on page 44 to more artificial topics such as adding together the fractions of a book read by a student over the course of a year on page 63. Another oddity is that, in the sections on finance, there are considerably more problems dealing with selling land or goods at a loss than with calculating a monetary gain.
This copy was electrotyped; that is, a wax mold of the type was dusted with graphite to impart an electrical charge and then coated with copper to make the final form. The boards of this book were covered with a paper lithograph rather than with leather. Although it is now very worn, the lithograph originally depicted a student performing multiplication at the blackboard before three other students and his male teacher. Everyone is holding a textbook.
This copy was signed by Burke Corbet and Myrta Corbett and stamped by German Snyder. There is a hand-drawn map of the western United States inside the front cover. There are childish scribbles, pencil marks of particular problems, and penciled answers throughout the book but especially after page 100. Pages 133-134 have been torn out; the lower half of pages 135-136 is missing.
Nineteenth century school children (and their parents) bout the textbooks they used and signed their names in them. Sometimes these were used – perhaps inherited from an older brother or sister. Census and other data suggests that these were Pennsylvania native Myrta Corbet (or Corbett -1857-1918) and her older brother Burke Corbett. A third signature is that of German Snyder – perhaps the New York state resident by that name who lived from 1869 to 1952.
See also 1986.3060.01.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Ray, Joseph
Wilson Hinkle & Co.
place made
United States: Ohio, Cincinnati
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
average spatial: 1.4 cm x 11.2 cm x 17 cm; 9/16 in x 4 13/32 in x 6 11/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur Skebeck
Women's History
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Women Teaching Math
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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