When you were a kid, you probably hated the day when summer ended and your had to sling a heavy backpack over your shoulder and march back into the classroom. But, as an adult, as soon as the leaves start to change, you find yourself in Staples, inhaling the scent of plastic binders and Number 2 pencils, remembering those innocent days when all you had to worry about was a pop quiz in math.
On Sunday, the Design Museum in London asked people to share the pencils, uniforms, textbooks, and other items that bring them right back to those childhood days. The thread was flooded with images ranging from the Lisa Frank notebooks of the ’90s to the of the report cards of the ’40s. Check out some of the best tweets below, and for another trip down memory lane, read 17 Things You’re Nostalgic for But Shouldn’t Be.
As convenient as it is to use an app that sends a notification to remind you when a book is due for a return, there was always something romantic seeing all of the previous due dates sloppily stamped in those little boxes, establishing some sort of secret bond between you and all of the strangers who had held the book in their hands before.
You awaited the report card with trembling hands, and nothing was more devastating than seeing a “U” for unsatisfactory.
This psychedelic pair hails from the ’80s. And for more throwbacks from the decade, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1980s Will Understand.
There was always something exciting about carving your name and the date into its hard, cardboard surface, and cracking it open to write the first entry of a brand new year.
Especially the Helix ones with the blurry “Shatter Resistant” font.
Notebooks, backpacks, pencil boxes, stickers—there was no such thing as too much of this psychedelic gear. And for more ’90s nostalgia, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1990s Will Understand.
Kids today will never understand the struggle of drawing the perfect Q under the dotted line.
No memorization technique is more fun.
The brush was used to rid the typewriter of dust, and it erased typos but only with the greatest of effort.
The red font on the TI 2500 “Datamath” was oddly ominous. For more amazing blasts from the past, check out 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew up in the 1970s Will Understand.
Number 2 Pencils
Especially the ones with “TICONDERGOA” emblazoned in green. And when the eraser on the end ran out, you always had those bubblegum pink erasers to rub down to a fraction of their original size.
The Simplex wall clock
This is particularly poignant given that analog clocks are apparently starting to disappear from schools.
Bananas were all the rage in the ’70s, it seems.
The smell is still intoxicating to ’90s kids.
Before the Internet, this was the only way to get the plot summary of an insufferable book.
Teachers’ Report to Parents
Back in the 1930s, this was what a report card looked like. Really makes you wonder why we phased out “Thrift and Good Citizenship.”
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