A Russian Arithmetic Wall Chart with Moveable Illustrations

Here’s a new acquisition for anyone interested in the history of math education, graphic design, or the use of wall charts in classroom.   It’s a very large poster with various moveables for teaching elementary arithmetic that was published in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

Arifmetika measures 67 x 103 centimeters and is backed with linen to make it sturdier (in the corners there are two large grommets for hanging it on a wall).   It was to be used during quarters 1 and 2 in second grade when the fundamentals of addition, subtraction, and multiplication were taught.   There is a partly legible stamp on the back, that could be a property stamp from a school in one of the former Central Asian republics.Cotsen_Arithmetika_Poster


Below is a detail of the chart’s upper right hand corner.  You can make out the little booklet mounted landscapewise that contains the multiplication tables for 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.


Cotsen_Arithmetika_Poster_4thAbove is the lower right hand corner, with the rest of the credits running above the lower edge.  Arifmetika‘s illustrations are credited to A. I. Saychuk and the press run was 2000 copies.   Many thanks to Thomas Keenan, Firestone Library’s Slavic Bibliographer extraordinaire, for help translating the hard bits  (Pikov Andropov wasn’t delivering any public figures to campus this week or we would have flagged him down in the Firestone turn-out).