Intellectual Arithmetic

At least once a month I spend my Saturday in search of estate sales. Very seldom do I buy anything, but this week I found a couple of new-to-me treasures.

First is this lovely wildlife print by Nancy Z. Guinn (or Gwinn).

The photograph doesn’t do it justice. I keep expecting one of the birds to fly out to light on my finger.

This, though, was my favorite find:

I know, this copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic is in awful condition, but I’m sure I won’t look all that great when I’m 142 years old either.

After perusing the pages of this pocket sized publication, I realized that by “Intellectual Arithmetic” the author was referring to what we call mental math.

Perhaps this find doesn’t excite you, but I’m a retired teacher who often was assigned to teach math (or maths, for my British friends) and science to elementary students.

I can well imagine the reactions from modern day children were they to be handed a plain Jane copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic when they’ve become accustomed to this:

Studly Doright was impressed with my little book, but for a different reason. He thinks it might be worth more than the few dollars I paid for it. Given the book’s condition I doubt it’d be valuable. Except, that is, to me.

Peace, people!

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

28 thoughts on “Intellectual Arithmetic”

  1. Oh my goodness, what a fun find! Questions 1- 9 in section LVIII make my brain hurt!! I enjoy math and may have to give some of these a try! (Kind of glad I only teach 3rd grade after seeing these questions though.) I actually have my grandmother’s elementary spelling book by George and Charles Merriam copyright 1880. It is very fragile and looks to be about the same size as your math book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the bird drawing, the book caused my head to explode!
    I remember as a young kid finding an old “arithmetic” book of my mom’s I think. The writing was similar and equally difficult to comprehend that phrasing compared to what I was learning even as a kid in the 60’s. Maybe that’s why math has never been my favorite subject!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a great math student until I hit algebra. My mind just wasn’t ready to work in abstract math. Geometry damned near killed me. When I was assigned the math classes for 5th and 6th graders I learned to love it. I didn’t want little girls leaving my class with an “I hate math” mindset.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the good fortune to take an algebra class in college taught by a woman who made so many things make sense. I still have the book we used in class and I refer to it often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love,Love,Love the old Math book. I collect old books too. I especially love old school books. Mine are more in the literary area but the one you found is a real treasure. There is something very special about holding a book that taught so many children over the years. Sometimes the students’ names are still in them and I have one where a little girl drew in hers. I feel like I’m taking a journey back in time whenever I look at them. You really scored well with your find!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I enjoy talking to others who are into old books. I have a few vintage literary first editions. They aren’t by anyone of note, but I just love owning something so old.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know! Fortunately my mother got me hooked on old books. She had small leather pocket sized collections (that she bought used as a teen) some dating back to the 1890’s, of Shakespeare, Dante,Bronte and other literary giants. Her original copy of “Enough Rope” by Dorothy Parker was dog eared when she gave it to me to take to college. I cherished it. Years later for my 65th Birthday my sister got me an original first edition.
    Growing up my mother read aloud (a chapter a night) to my siblings and I such books as Treasure Island, Little Women etc. I still have all those books on y shelf. Plus she found a complete collection of Mark Twain Novels from the early 1900’s in an antique book store when I was a little girl in the 1950’s. I still have those and my children read them.. What I discovered, because I’d bring my childhood books to my classroom, is that modern versions of many of the classics have been altered. Sadly, classics, such as Little Women have been rewritten. They took out the “author intrusion “ which was how authors wrote back then. (Where writers infused their own values in between certain paragraphs. It’s rather charming and in the case of Louisa May Alcott essential to understanding the gap in unfair sexism/restrictions of the day. Always look for unabridged and original versions when buying your kids or grandkids literature. I gave my youngest son my version of the great gatsby from my high school days and he showed his high school teacher she was wrong about context on a question and then gave her his book. The teacher was stunned that her new book was different . They had dumbed the newer books down and it changed much of the intent of the author. Crazy right?
    It’s not just math that has been altered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that nuts? Not to mention worrisome. Thank goodness for bibliophiles, for they shall keep us honest.

      I read a rather poorly written sci-fi book that had a fascinating premise. The government was buying all libraries and digitizing the books. But the digital versions were significantly altered to make them politically correct for the times. A group of resistors was stealing books from libraries and hiding them for future generations. It was sort of Fahrenheit 451-ish, but different enough that it could’ve been a great read—but it just wasn’t a well-developed book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! I feel like that could happen in today’s world. What was scary was that this was an advanced placement class. And the test questions were part of a curriculum based on literature that had been adapted. Scary. I would give my kids my old books and they liked that because I had hi-lighted and made my own comments. After that incident my son would get the new version of novels but give my older version to his teacher to compare. It made for some interesting class discussions. I’m also a nut who collects children’s literature artists and so if I get an old book I want it to have the original artist.
        For instance, “Through the Looking Glass” must have John Tenniel and “Sherlock Holmes” has to have Sidney Paget as the illustrator of his adventures. And the original artist for Little Women was her own sister.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I collect children’s books signed by the authors. It’s not a large collection, but I met all but one of them to have them signed. I’m much more impressed by authors than by movie/tv stars. I’m no groupie, but, I do get giddy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Me too. I am way more impressed with authors than stars. Although, I do get a little giddy with both from time to time. My youngest son is an assistant director in the film and tv industry. He is currently an AD on the TV show The Resident and I have a little crush on one of the actors. (Bruce Greenwood). I’ve followed his career since the 80’s. My son only knew of him from this show and when I watched the first episode I text him not realizing they were filming new episodes at the time, and I mentioned that the main Doctor was my 80’s crush. He then FaceTimed with me the actor next to him who thanked me for being a fan. I admit it. I was pretty flustered..Since my son works with these people every day he just sees them as ordinary folks and says they are just like everyone else. But I get a bit impressed when he works with people from my generation. It’s just work to him. The one person who DID impress was author RL Stein. He asked him to sign his favorite Goosebumps book and told him he was a big fan since was a child. (Jack Black played him in the film.) it’s funny that he was more impressed with the author too. However he very much enjoyed working with Jack. He said he’s really a nice guy.

        Liked by 1 person

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