Richmond No. 50 Junior Spelling and Counting Educational Board

Richmond No. 50 Junior Spelling and Counting Educational Board

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This oval shaped red, spelling and counting board has two slots in the center to be used to create words and sentences. One side features letter tiles for spelling and the rear displayes numbers and operator symbols for creating simple math equations. Both sides are illustrated with an old woman in a shoe nursery rhyme and objects with corresponding numbers. This Model 50 spelling and counting board was a popular model according to advertisements and was manufactured by the Richmond School Furniture Company.
Richmond School Furniture Company was founded in 1892 in Richmond, Indiana by Quaker lawyer, manufacturer William Foulke Spencer (1833- 1920). The company manufactured school furniture such as desks, benches, chalkboards, as well as office furniture like Wooten type desks, and church furniture. Spencer also was granted 2 patents for Improvement in School Furniture: 176,701 on April 25, 1876 (CL.65.0397 in the NMAH collections) and patent 179,877 on July 18, 1876 (see CL.65.0513 in the NMAH collections). He later was issued a patent for an opera chair. By 1880, Spencer was listing his profession as a manufacturer of school furniture, having joined the firm originated by John P. Allen and George H. Grant. It became Haynes, Spencer & Company. When it was destroyed in a fire in 1892, he founded the Richmond School Furniture Company. After an 1840 fire in the Cressco manufacturing plant, Horatio Cress sold his patent rights for education boards to the Richmond School Furniture Company and they expanded their product line to include educational toys. The company remained headquartered in Muncie, Indiana until 1961 when they went out of business.
Currently not on view
Object Name
spelling and counting board
Object Type
educational toys
educational toys
date made
place made
United States: Indiana, Muncie
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
cardboard (overall material)
metal (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 24 cm x 33 cm x 2 cm; 9 7/16 in x 13 in x 25/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
model number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Education
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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