Bells: 1776-1860

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It was typical for students to play games and socialize outside the school in the morning. Unless the school had a bell tower, the teacher would stand at the door and ring a hand bell when it was time for school to commence in the morning or after a recess. Students had to be within earshot to hear the bell, or they risked punishment for tardiness. The boys would line up on one side and the girls on the other.

The classroom atmosphere was formal and students would stand by their desks for the opening exercises. After the Pledge of Allegience, there might be a Bible reading or a discussion of the moral lesson for the day. These lessons were called maxims and quotations from the Bible, literature, or Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac were used.


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1. Education is the chief defense of nations
2. Lost time is never found
3. One lie needs seven to wait upon it
4. Silence is golden
5. Prefer old heads and young hands
6. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again
7. Despise school and remain a fool
8. One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel
9. Too many cooks make the soup too salty
10. Never be afraid to do good, but always fear evil
11. Once bit, twice shy
12. A friend in need is a friend indeed
13. A good name is far better than great riches
14. Speech is silver, silence golden
15. The repeated stroke will fell the mightiest oak
16. Empty wagons make the most noise
17. He is most powerful who governs himself
18. An honest endeavor is worth ten promises
19. Not I can’t, but I will
20. Little said is soonest mended