Paterson’s Early Learning

In one of our Museum display cabinets there is a shelf displaying an old fashioned school pupil size slate and an unopened 1860’s packet of slate pencils made in Germany for the British market. As the late ABC Broadcaster Colin Munro pointed out to us when describing the school desk in room 1 at Sydney Grammar “there is no inkwell because Paterson would have used a slate and slate pencil”.  

Closer inspection of the artifacts that three teachers at Yeoval Central School and their senior students found when they conducted an archaeological dig at the Paterson Ruins over 40 years ago show there are the short stubs of 3 slate pencils.

I would love to think that these were used by young “Barty” Paterson during his mother’s early home schooling – the forerunner of his great “Pen Pictures” that he left us with.

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