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It is difficult for children to stay focused on doing homework when there are some many entertainment distractions available to them. And so it was with eight-year-old twin boys Claude and Cleo Keedermeyer of Burlington, Vermont. The two had been instructed by their mother to practice writing their cursive letters but the same device that aided in their education also contained games and so they chose to play instead. When Mrs. Keedermeyer came into the room, the boys were in the middle of a furious came of checkers. She quickly put a stop to the game and had them lay their hands on the top of the checker board and she promptly rapped their knuckles with a ruler that she carried in her apron for such occasions. She then flipped up the checker board to reveal the chalkboard which they were suppose to be writing their letters on and pointed at the board with the ruler without saying a word. Her stern look and the ruler were enough to cause the twins to begin writing their letters immediately.

As Mrs. Keedermeyer walked out of the room she pondered how hard it was to be a mother of school-aged children in 1904 with all the modern distractions that competed for their attention. She thought of the simpler times like when she was a child and all she had was small slate board to do her lettering by candle light. But then she remembered that she used to play tic-tac-toe with her sister when she was suppose to be practicing her lettering--she smiled and shook her head and thought to herself, "well I guess there's nothing new under the sun."


For sale is a wonderful old chalkboard easel, child's learning and game center. We are dating this piece to the late 1800's or early 1900's. It is 46" tall (when folded out), 25" wide. It has a tin based chalkboard and then it can be flipped down to reveal a colorful checkerboard/desk which is 23" wide X 18" deep. Above the board there are seven built in pockets/shelves of various sizes for storing paper, pencils, chalk, etc. Above the pockets is a fabric scroll with learning aids including alphabet, lettering samples, musical staff lesson, outlines of symbols, pictures of common items and illustrations of children at play. The frame is constructed of a lightweight wood with lots of decorative engraving. This old easel would be make a great display piece or use for a welcome table for a shabby chic wedding.

This piece is in very good condition considering it is probably over 100 years old. The wood frame is sturdy and has a nice dark patina and it is free of cracks or splits. We did find that it is missing a small ( 5" X 1.5") piece of decorative trim piece (top right side of scroll) and a decorative bracket (top left of the leg) neither of which effect the integrity of the piece. The tin table top is in good shape--the printed game board has some scuffs and scratches but the graphics are nice and bright. On the chalkboard side, the chalkboard material (slate?) that is coating the tin has worn thin in stops so if you wanted to use this as a working chalkboard, you'd need to repaint with chalkboard paint. The fabric scroll still rolls smoothly. We did find some frays on the edges of the scroll and there are some nicks, scuffs and wear from children writing on it with chalk over the years.

SHIPPING NOTE- This is a large, bulky item that will ship via FedEx Ground to the lower 48 USA state only. No Alaska, Hawaii or International shipping on this item. Please provide a physical shipping address--no P.O. Boxes.

Antique Turn-of-the-Century Chalkboard Easel - Children's Learning and Games


  • Vintage item from 1900 - 1909
  • Materials: wood, tin
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 972 reviews
  • Favorited by: 7 people