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Going Back — Way Back — to School

Revisit memories of bad haircuts, No. 2 pencils, metal lunch boxes and the intoxicating smell of mimeograph paper

  • Lunchbox and Thermos
    Nickolas Muray/George Eastman House/Getty Images

    Lunch Box and Thermos

    What's on that bread? Butter? Mayonnaise? And remember the sound of breaking glass when you accidentally dropped your Thermos and the liner shattered?

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  • Slide Rule
    Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

    Slide Rule

    This seems an unnecessarily complicated way just to calculate the result of "3 x 1 = ?" but they also were amazing devices in the days before hand-held calculators.

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  • Mimeograph
    Millard Smith/The Denver Post via Getty Images


    Remember the blue sheets that were typed out by your teacher, loaded into this machine and used to make pop quizzes? Remember that sound of the machine being cranked?

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  • Pennants
    ClassicStock/Alamy Stock Photo


    They were a required accessory for being true to your school. No bedroom wall of a sports fan was truly decorated without one.

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  • Desks
    Warren Leffler/The Granger Collection


    This was your reaction when you saw your first Science Fair volcano. If you were lucky, you got a desk with a storage space underneath the seat.

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  • A middle aged caucasian couple look at a map outdoors with text that reads keep life fun and your calendar full.

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  • Abacus
    Bettmann Archive/Getty Images


    This was another handy tool for calculating your math answers, or just for playing with the beads and pretending you were doing homework.

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  • Flashcards
    iStockphoto/Getty Images

    Flash Cards

    They were simple, useful and potentially trauma-inducing, but they were also how generations of children learned basic math tables.

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  • Waiting for the Bus
    H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Waiting for the Bus

    Here's a school ritual that is still common today. And officer, shouldn't that sign be out in the street?

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  • AARP Baby Boomers (Sean McCabe)
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