15-year-old Helena wrote a hundred years ago today:
Monday, January 30, 1911. My! How the wind did blow today, smashed some panes in the school house windows with a deafening crash and alarmed us all, fortunately we escaped uninjured. Boo hoo I haven’t got all my arithmetic problems for tomorrow. Boo hoo. I’m getting stupid.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
It was either a damn strong wind–or the windows weren’t very strong. I wonder if the panes blew out when the class was working on the dreaded arithmetic. To get a sense of what the problems were like I found a high school arithmetic book that was published in 1911. Here are the written exercises in the chapter titled The Equation:
1. To four times a certain number I add 16, and obtain as a result 188. What is the number?
2. A man having $100 spent a part of it; he afterwards received five times as much as he had spent, and then his money was double what it was at first. How much did he spend?
3. A farmer had two flocks of sheep, each containing the same number. He sold 21 sheep from one flock and 70 from the other, and then found that he had left in one flock twice as many as in the other. How many had he in each?
4. Divide 100 into two such parts that a fourth of one part diminished by a third of the other part may be equal to 11.
5. Find the area of a square field whose diagonal is 50 rods.
Kimball’s Commercial Arithmetic: Prepared for Use in Normal, Commercial and High Schools and the Higher Grades of the Common School (1911)